NLA report highlights Brexit design skills risk

18 May 2017 | By James Kenny

A new study from New London Architecture (NLA) warns London is in danger of losing its identity as a leading city for design and construction skills due to Brexit.

The report highlights the danger London faces as the government negotiates the UK’s exit from the EU and sets out a series of key recommendations for the UK government and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to ensure resilience in the sector.

London: Design Capital, presents four recommendations to the government and mayor of London to support and maintain the international status and export value of London’s built environment. The research involved a survey of the NLA’s membership, consisting of more than 500 organisations.

The report recommends:

  • Continue to attract and retain access to international talent.
  • Recognise and promote London’s built environment organisations as a specific sector to the export market. 
  • Make London an attractive and affordable place to live and work in the long-term.
  • Create and reinforce London’s links with other cities and provide a better voice for the profession.

According to recent research by the GLA, the value of London’s construction industry is £16.9bn, higher than Shanghai (£16.5bn), Hong Kong (£11.9bn) and Dubai (£7.7bn).

Restrictions on freedom of movement, access to skills, research in innovation, and the international talent pool could pose a serious risk to the industry and its value to the UK economy.

Peter Murray, chairman of NLA, said: “Built environment professionals alone bring huge value to London’s GDP and to UK PLC, therefore it is vital that the industry works together to ensure we are not overtaken by other global cities.

“The NLA are calling for the mayor of London to advocate more strongly for London’s built environment industries overseas, highlighting its size, unique mix and depth of expertise that can be applied in cities around the world, and for the government to ensure that the industry retains access to talent.

“This is not just a case of training more local talent, it means protecting the hugely rich and diverse mix of cultures and skills that London currently enjoys.”

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