1. ITV Report

RICS Wales: 'It's everyone's responsibility to make Brexit work'

Credit: PA imagesGareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors says it's essential the UK Government and industry work together to get the best deal for Wales and the rest of the UK to 'ensure future growth and prosperity'.

The organisation has also warned it's important a highly skilled workforce is secured to tackle Wales' 'chronic housing shortage'.

The EU as a market is of vital importance for Welsh agriculture, and our construction sector is dependent on free movement of labour for essential skills. Wales is not only facing a chronic housing shortage, but also an infrastructure deficit. In order to tackle these issues, it is essential that we secure a highly skilled and sizable workforce. We need reassurance that workforce migration will be addressed as a priority - it must not be allowed to impact on the attractiveness of Wales for investment, or as a place where major corporate and industrial occupiers want to do business.

Unless the free movement of skilled labour is secured during negotiations, we believe that the infrastructure pipeline may be under threat. Our latest figures show that eight per cent of the UK’s construction workers are EU nationals, accounting for some 176,500 people. A loss of access to the European labour market has the potential to not only bring some of the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects slowly to a standstill, but to further impact on the skills-base in Wales. We are already seeing skills from Wales being utilised for significant projects in England.

Yet while it is the role of Government to secure the trade agreement, industry must also work to secure the domestic skills pipeline. As the industry’s professional body, we are working with Government and industry to develop that skills base, building vital initiatives, such as degree apprenticeships, in our sector to drive the talent pipeline forward.

– David Morgan, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Policy Manager in Wales

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