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Unqualified workforce will harm the industry



I have been in construction as a shuttering carpenter for over 20 years and have seen a vast improvement in the building industry, especially regarding safety. That is, until now.

Contractors and the Government must realise that our industry is crammed full of foreign workers, most of whom cannot speak or read English.

They are also paid half or less than a British worker.

This is what is happening on site. The qualified British worker starts the job, making shutters, columns and so on with so-called help from the migrant workers.

They then know the procedure, so the employer gets rid of the qualified British worker.

This is happening a lot. But these migrant workers cannot read safety signs, which is dangerous to themselves and others. What has happened to looking after our own?

I started one job on a Monday only to be finished on the Wednesday. There I saw migrant workers standing around for two and a half hours until the boss came down, when they ran away. I am of the old school and have a saying: You go to work to workZ.

I am not saying all migrants are bad, but eight in 10 are not worth employing. Let s not forget that we qualif ied workers have to put their work right, with an extra cost and a delay on the programme.

I am a member of Ucatt, which says the problem is countrywide.

Please don t let our industry be destroyed by these contractors and the Government doing nothing to help our plight. The Government says migrants are good for our economy, while employers make a bigger profit margin.

Also an illegal immigrant worker is a £5,000 fine to the employer. On a site, after being inducted, you must produce a British passport and National Insurance number.

Let s fight this . . . I hope people in Government and in the industry read this.

Geoff Gardner, by email