Immigration can be defined as the movement of people from their regions to one place, tourism and short term visits are not termed as immigrants but immigrants are those who have a long term permanent residence into an area or those who are forced indefinitely. Immigration is caused by push and pull factors, push factors are those factors that lead to the a person emigrating from his or her own country, the pull factors are those factors that are associated with the host country for example higher wage rates and better living standards.

Immigration will lead to both negative and positive effect on the construction industry. Immigration will lead to increased population in a country and this leads to an increase in the demand for social amenities and this indirectly affects the construction industry. This paper discusses the effects of immigration workers in the UK who work with the construction industry,

the construction industry in the United Kingdom

has over 250 thousand firms and the industry employs over 2 million people, the paper analysis the effect of immigrant workers with reference to health, skills, communication and infrastructure.

Health and safety:

The construction industry in the UK is termed as the biggest industry because it employs over 2 million people, it is also termed as the most risky job because in the past 25 year over 2,500 people have died from accidents in construction work, further there has been reports of many


illnesses and injuries caused in the work process. The construction industry has a large number of injuries and illnesses compared to other industries. This is because in the industry the workforce is exposed to more physical activities.

The immigrant workers in the UK are mostly from Bulgaria and Romania, these immigrants work in the most dangerous tasks and for this reason they account for more injuries and deaths in the construction industry. The immigrants however have been considered to be beneficial to the economy in that they have reduced the tax burden of the natives.

Immigrants have differing cultural and social background and this shapes their attitude and their expectations in the work place. The high levels of injuries and deaths of the immigrants in the workplace can be attributed to the following factors;

The immigrants have little or no training regarding safety and health in the workplace, for this reason therefore there is an increased occurrence of injuries and deaths in the construction industry which employs most of these immigrants.

The immigrant workers who work in the construction industry may fail to wear protective gear when they are in the work places. This increases their exposure to injuries and accident in the workplace as a result of their failure to wear protective gear. [1]


In the construction industry the cause of injuries and deaths is attributed to falling objects, being crashed or caught in machines, electrocution and fall from roof tops and ladders. All this contribute to the increased concern on the safety of workers in the construction industry where most of them are immigrants.

The immigrants in most cases will work in the most dangerous places in the work places, they are exposed to machinery and tools that have a high possibility of causing accidents and bearing in mind that they have very little training regarding safety then they are most likely to cause accidents and injuries to themselves and also to their workmates in the work process.

Therefore from the above explanation it is clear that the immigrants are more likely to increase the level of accidents in the workplace and the safety in the workplace when immigrants are employed is compromised. For this reason there have been increased injuries and accidents in the construction industry due to poorly trained workers and workers who do not have training regarding safety.

The immigrants may fail to report for the accidents that occur in the workplace and this hinders the intervention of the authority regarding safety in the workplace, the immigrants fail to report for their fear of losing their jobs and at the same fear to expose their immigration status where they prefer to remain in the host country.


Immigrants who work in the construction industry are in most cases not well skilled for the jobs they perform, for this reason the quality of work performed on projects they work on is questionable. These workers may fail to follow proper set conditions and work progress in the construction. This result to poor quality projects which in the future may cause hazards to residents of the host country. [2]


A positive issue regarding the immigrants in the construction industry is that they also bring with them skills into the industry from their previous experience in their home country. This contributes to the advancement in the construction industry because the workforce has skills associated with construction. The number of skilled workers also increases as a result of the increased number of immigrants and these benefits the construction industry whereby the workforce is skilled and experienced.

The immigrants in the construction industry is the strong hold of the host country, this can be explained by their specific human and social capital they posses, the immigrants therefore contribute to the increased human capital in the construction industry. The skills that these individuals acquire before they migrate, and on the job has lead to advancement in the construction industry [3]

Therefore the immigrants aid in the increase of human capital in the construction industry, they give provide skilful labour into the industry because they bring in skilful and experienced labour and at the same they gain skills in the process of their work and this benefits the industry for the simple reason that they provide and abundant skilled labour force into the country.


Communication and infrastructure

Immigrants in most cases create a problem in communication in the work place. This will lead to misinterpretation of information in the construction industry. Some of the immigrants in the construction industry do not understand the native language of the host country and this posses a great communication barrier.

Communication in the work place requires the presence of a translator who understands both languages, for this reason it adds to a negative impact on the cost of production in construction industry, further there is the existence of misinterpretation of information communicated.

The existence of immigrant construction workers provide an atmosphere for better circulation of information, also the distribution of contracts and the acquisition of financial capital. This is due to the ties that exist among the co ethnic work force in the construction industry. Therefore the existence of immigrants in the construction industry has led to a streamlined communication network among the workers. [4]


Therefore the immigrants both pose a problem in the construction industry and also create an opportunity to better communication. The problem posed by immigrants is that they are unable to effectively communicate with the natives of the host country and this would lead to serious problems in the industry, however the other advantage is that they create a communication network because of the ties they create among their co workers.


Immigrants have benefited the construction industry, however they still pose problems in the industry and they mostly contribute to most of the accidents that occur in the industry, this is due to their little or no training in safety and health in the work place, they also fail to wear protective gear. Most cases of injuries and accidents are not reported to authorities who would improve the situation of safety for the simple reason that the immigrants fear that they may loose their jobs and also that they might expose their immigration status.

The increased labour force in the industry indicates that these immigrants have benefited the construction industry, the immigrants come with experience and skills acquired from their home country and this aids in the advancement of the construction industry. However the negative impact is that some of the immigrants are not skilled and experienced enough and this may lead to poor construction due to lack of skills by these workers.

Communication among the workers is also improved because they form ethnic ties where by they understand each other better and this will improve the communication among the workers. For this reason therefore the immigrants have contributed to the smooth running of the construction industry. A problem in communication is posed whereby the immigrants may not properly interpret information given using the language of the host country, this leads to misinterpretation of information and create communication barriers in the work place.



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