RICS: We must make Brexit work

Ryan Bembridge

March 29, 2017

It’s everyone’s responsibility to make Brexit work and the government needs the full support of the industry, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ head of UK policy Jeremy Blackburn said.

In response to Article 50 being triggered, Blackburn said the private sector must do its bit to boost domestic skills.

He said: “It is essential now that government and industry work together to get the best deal possible and ensure our country’s future growth and prosperity. It is everyone’s responsibility to make Brexit work.

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“Britain must retain its front line position on the international stage. Delivering the airport hubs, high-speed rail networks and energy systems needed to make our cities and industrial hubs global competitors will be critical to our future success.

“However, it is unrealistic to expect government to deliver a successful Brexit without the full – if sometimes constructive – support of industry.”

Blackburn noted that 8% of the construction industry are EU nationals.

This amounts to 176,500 people affected by uncertianty around the free movement of skilled labour.

He added: “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.

“A recent RICS survey revealed worrying figures showing that almost a quarter of our construction professionals fail to recognise the benefits of apprenticeships in solving the skills crisis.

“It is vital that industry gets behind such schemes for Britain’s long-term good.”

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