Chapter

The Dynamics of Migrant Employment in Construction: Can Supply of Skilled Labour ever Match Demand?

Paul Chan, Linda Clarke and Andrew Dainty

in Who Needs Migrant Workers?

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580590
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595257 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199580590.003.0008
The Dynamics of Migrant Employment in Construction: Can Supply of Skilled Labour ever Match Demand?

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The role migrant workers play in reconciling supply and demand of skilled labour in the UK construction industry is scrutinized in this chapter. Given the idiosyncratic, project‐based nature of the sector, characterized by the reliance on a mobile, itinerant, and largely self‐employed workforce, it is argued that mismatches between supply and demand of skilled workers remain inevitable. Shortcomings in the institutional framework governing skills reproduction in the sector contribute further to this widening chasm. Policy intent of managing just the numerical aspects of supply and demand of skilled labour remains wholly inadequate. Recommendations are therefore made for tighter labour market regulation to ensure equal and fair treatment of workers, development of a comprehensive vocational education and training (VET) system, and a paradigm shift away from current modes of skills reproduction and employment practices towards more sophisticated deployment and development of skills for all workers.

Keywords: labour market regulation; supply and demand; skilled labour; skills reproduction; vocational education

Chapter.  13308 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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