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UK: Talent Shortage Expected due to Brexit Fallout

According to a report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, 51% of employers anticipate a shortage of candidates to fill permanent jobs.  Further data from the REC’s JobsOutlook survey of 600 employers also shows that employers with more than 250 staff are concerned about the lack of talent available, with 63% expecting a shortage.

Meanwhile, 22% plan to take on more permanent staff in the medium term (4-12 months), with 1% planning to decrease their headcount.  “There’s a feel-good factor about the UK jobs market,” REC chief executive Kevin Green said. “The official figures show record levels of employment, and our data indicates that this could rise even higher in the coming months.”

“The candidate shortage is an ongoing dilemma. This is not a new problem, but the fall-out from Brexit has created fresh challenges. We’re already hearing that EU workers are leaving the UK or turning down opportunities to work here. In sectors such as healthcare, construction and hospitality, where the reliance upon EU nationals is especially high, employers are worried,” Green said. 

REC data also showed that demand for staff is higher in London, where 28% of employers intend to increase their permanent workforce in the medium term.  Employers expect the shortage of candidates to be particularly acute in engineering and tech, health and social care, and construction.

Furthermore, 59% of employers have increased their headcount in the last year. Moreover, 34% believe that UK economic conditions are improving, whilst 29% think they are getting worse. While 78% are operating with ‘none’ or ‘a little’ spare capacity, and would need to take on staff to meet an increase in demand.

“The government’s U-turn on the Budget reveals a failure to appreciate the consequences of policy. Their approach to immigration must show more clarity. Safeguarding the status of EU workers in the UK in the upcoming Brexit negotiations would help to allay anxieties amongst employers,” Green said.   

Staffing Industry Analysts