What do I need to work in construction in the UK?
There are many opportunities for skilled overseas workers to join the construction industry in the UK. Construction workers in the UK benefit from an industry that embraces diversity, equality and inclusion, and welcomes workers from outside of the UK.
The construction industry has high standards for health and safety and the wellbeing of its employees. As an overseas worker, you will be highly valued for your skills and can look forward to excellent working conditions, wages and training opportunities.
How do I get a job in construction?
Skilled workers wanting to work in the UK for longer than six months will need a work visa and in some instances a sponsorship licence.
UK Working Visa
The most important thing you will need to work legally in the UK is a current UK work visa. There are a range of different work permits and passes available, from skilled worker visas to graduate visas and temporary worker vias, so choose the one that suits your circumstances.
UK visa sponsorship
For certain skilled workers, employers will need to obtain a sponsor licence to employ an overseas worker. If the kind of work you are doing fits this criteria, your employer will arrange this.
Health and Safety regulations
Due to the nature of construction sites, being aware of the different health and safety regulations that apply in the UK is important. Research by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions found that foreign or migrant workers were more at risk from workplace accidents in the UK than British construction workers.
Overseas workers with limited English language skills can take the Construction Skills, Health, Safety and Environment test to prepare for working in construction in the UK.
Is my qualification recognised in the UK?
If you have skills, a construction qualification and work experience gained overseas, they may be transferrable to different areas of the construction industry in the UK. To check whether your qualifications are recognised in the UK you should contact Ecctis, the national agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills, and apply for an Industry Skills Statement.
Find out more about a career in construction in the UK
What’s it like to work in construction? Get real-life stories from people doing skilled construction jobs in the UK.