Government agencies led by the Home Office and the Immigration Minister James Brokenshire have launched Operation Magnify, a campaign supported by CIOB.
Operation Magnify is a rolling programme of site enforcement visits targeting illegal workers in the construction industry, and raising the issue on the industry’s agenda.
Construction is an area of focus in efforts to reduce illegal immigration and the exploitation of illegal labour in the UK, as it typically employs a high volume of non-English speaking and/or lower skilled individuals.
Individuals working in the country illegally due to their immigration status will often be victims of abuse and exploitations or caught in a situation now defined as modern slavery.
The presence of exploitation and illegal employment in the industry therefore leads to downward pressure on safety standards and overall quality of output.
Mr Brokenshire said:
“Illegal working undermines legitimate employers, harms the reputation of the industry, drives down wages and denies employment to hard-working UK citizens and people who are working in the UK legally.”