Modern slavery can take many forms including the trafficking of people, forced labour, servitude and slavery. Recent statistics show that 47% of all potential victims who cite the UK as the location of exploitation, were trafficked into forced labour. Traffickers and illegal/ unlicensed gangmasters target a range of industries including those involved in construction.
In 2014, the construction industry in the UK contributed £103 billion in economic output. In Q2 2015, 2.1 million jobs or 6.2% of the UK workforce total were in the construction industry, making it a huge employer.Within this massive workforce, 71 potential victims of trafficking who cited the UK as the location of exploitation were referred to the authorities in 2016, but slavery’s hidden nature means actual numbers are likely to be much higher. While it may be unlikely large companies are directly employing trafficked people, contractors and sub contractors (or the agencies supplying labour) could find themselves targeted by unscrupulous gangmasters who may be offering a ready supply of labour at knocked down rates.