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April 2007

ConstructionSkills launches online tool to support UK companies employing migrant workers

ConstructionSkills has launched a new, online tool to support UK construction employers who employ migrant workers. The website - www.constructionmigrantworkers.co.uk - contains resources on health and safety best practice, routes to qualification and relevant products and services to help ensure that employers are keeping their migrant workforce safe, qualified and productive.

Pulling together information from a number of sources into a central hub, the resource provides support on a range of areas that affect employers, including:

  • Planning site inductions for migrant workers
  • Awareness of employment laws
  • Training and qualifying migrant workers
  • Support to help keep workers safe on site

Like many other industries, construction has seen an increase in the use of migrant labour – a trend that has increased with the expansion of the European Union (EU). As a result, the industry needs to tackle the challenge of a diverse and multi-lingual workforce and, in particular, to address health and safety requirements for all workers.

As the Sector Skills Council for construction, ConstructionSkills has been tasked by employers to tackle the issue of integrating migrant workers to fit with its wider remit of ensuring everyone in the UK construction workforce is safe, healthy, qualified and competent.

ConstructionSkills has provided assistance to employers for a number of years on the employment and integration of migrant workers, by providing resources such as the Kickstart site induction for workers that speak little or no English, or providing the H&S Test in multiple languages – including providing an interpreter when a pre-recorded foreign language version is not available. The new website makes it much simpler for employers to access this information and find the information and resources they need to integrate migrant workers into their organisations and to ensure they work safely on their sites.

Kevin Fear, Head of Health, Safety and Environment, ConstructionSkills stated: β€œAll employers have a legal and moral duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of workers on their sites through the provision of information, training, induction and supervision - all key requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Employing migrant workers can make these obligations more challenging, particularly when workers may not have English as a first language. We have developed this resource to provide services, support and guidance to help employers ensure that they manage health and safety issues and that any migrants working in UK construction are competent and safe, which is a new duty placed upon construction companies by the new CDM Regulations. Having everything pooled into one easy to use and dedicated website simplifies what can sometimes be seen by employers as a complex issue.”

Visit www.constructionmigrantworkers.co.uk to see the full range of products, services and resources available to employers.

For further information please see the full press release

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