You may have seen the results of a recent Considerate Constructors Scheme survey on illegal working in construction. It found that 93% of people in the industry agreed that illegal working could be better tackled – further results can be found here.
However, recent figures revealed by David Wood, previous head of immigration enforcement at the Home Office, not only suggest that these concerns are justified, but that the pool of potential illegal workers is much higher than official figures suggest.
In a report for civil think-tank Civitas, Mr Wood disclosed that more than 1.2 million illegal immigrants are currently living in Britain, the majority of whom have overstayed their visas. This could be seen as concerning when compared with the most recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which put UK net migration at 246,000 as of September 2017.
The reason for the startling difference in figures is mainly down to the ONS figure not taking into account illegal immigration. Officially, illegal immigration figures are yet to be released and the government continues to manage this hurdle with a view to delivering accurate statistics.
However, a lack of awareness of the scale of the issue presents the construction industry with potential challenges. If accurate, David Wood’s figures coupled with the skill shortages and increasing labour demands facing the UK construction industry could create a perfect storm. As construction firms could be increasingly faced with illegal workers carrying forged or illegitimate ID and right to work documents, looking to take advantage of the situation.
Compounding the issue, forgeries are getting more and more sophisticated, with many now capable of fooling the naked eye. In cases like these, above and beyond standard checks are required to completely eradicate the risk.
PpAC is the only ID authentication solution dedicated to the construction industry:
- It authenticates workers through instant right to work and identity checks
- It scans for all vulnerabilities, not simply the most common attempts to falsify documents
- It uses the latest in facial recognition technology to instantly match the person in front of you with the ID provided
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