The UK construction industry is asking its highly valued EU workers, who might be travelling home for Christmas, to please come back after the Christmas break, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Research focusing on how the bosses of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms view their EU workers concluded that:

  • 85% of construction SME employers that employ EU workers say that these workers are important in allowing their business to maintain and expand its workforce
  • 76% of these firms say it would have a negative impact on the health of their business if any of the EU workers they employ returned to their country of origin, now or post-Brexit
  • 94% of firms describe the quality of EU workers they employ as ‘good’ or ‘very good’

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said “Our research shows that EU workers are vital to the success of the UK construction industry and our message to these individuals is clear – you are highly valued and we need you. Christmas is now upon us and there’s a risk that those EU migrant workers who go home to their home countries for the festive period might not come back. With Brexit looming large on the horizon, EU workers in the UK are facing high levels of uncertainty over their future. Furthermore, since the depreciation of sterling, their wages aren’t worth as much as they were previously. Construction employers are genuinely concerned that this mixture of uncertainty about the future and less money in their pockets will make the UK a much less attractive proposition that it was pre-referendum.”

“Ministers haven’t done enough to reassure EU workers that they have a future in the UK. In our ‘Construction Industry Brexit Manifesto’, seven of the major trade bodies have called on the Government to embark upon a communications campaign that makes clear to our EU workers that they’ll have no serious impediments to gaining settled status. Indeed, both the Government and the industry need to do all that they can to put a positive message across. In the medium term, the construction industry can and should do more to attract and train a greater proportion of domestic workers. However, such is the extent of the current construction skills shortages, we’ll continue to need to draw upon a high number of EU migrant workers post-Brexit if the Government wants to meet its target for new homes and infrastructure projects.”

Staff from CMS Window Systems joined an army of volunteers, including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah, to help provide a much needed Christmas boost for hundreds of Fife families struggling to make ends meet.

More than 800 children benefited from the day organised by Fife charity ‘The Cottage Family Centre’, during which volunteers joined forces to prepare and distribute crates of food, bags of new toys and children’s clothes to more than 400 families in Kirkcaldy and the surrounding area in time for Christmas.

Joining volunteers from across the town including its former MP Gordon Brown and his wfe, a team from CMS gave up their day jobs to help. This included drivers and their vans to deliver the Christmas bundles, with the company also providing extensive warehousing which became the hub of the operation.

CMS has supported The Cottage Family Centre charity for many years in its work to aid families and individuals who are vulnerable to social exclusion as a result of factors such as poverty, low paid employment, poor housing, relationship breakdown, drug and alcohol problems and health related issues.

The Cottage Family Centre’s Service Manager, Pauline Buchan who organised the day said: “We are extremely grateful to have the ongoing support of CMS as it is critical to ensuring we can continue to provide vital assistance to the most disadvantaged in our communities. It is fantastic to know our most vulnerable children and families have been provided for over the Christmas period.”

Billy Semple, Director at CMS Window Systems added: “The Cottage Family Centre provides tremendous support to vulnerable families, so we’re only too pleased to assist in whatever way we can. We’ve got to know the communities of Fife very well over the years though our work with Fife Council, which primarily involves helping to improve the quality and comfort of buildings across the region by providing energy efficient windows, doors and curtain walling solutions. So we know only too well that we are in a privileged position to help, and that includes using our manpower, storage facilities and delivery vehicles for this charity day.”

Based at Castlecary near Glasgow with additional premises in Kirkcaldy, CMS Window Systems is one of the UK’s largest window, door and curtain walling designers, manufacturers and installers helping social landlords like Fife Council provide the most energy efficient and comfortable buildings and homes.

To find out more about CMS Window Systems please visit