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BPS World research highlights challenges facing employers in 2017 following Brexit

Particularly in the high-value digital, technical and engineering industries where recruiters are already struggling with severe skills shortages

Global resourcing specialist BPS World has warned that one of the main challenges facing employers in the UK in 2017 will be the impact of Brexit on the ability to attract talent, particularly in the high-value digital, technical and engineering industries where recruiters are already struggling with severe skills shortages. This follows the publication by BPS World, of: “Brexit: What the World is Saying” which, for the first time, researched the global impact of Brexit and how other countries believe it will impact on skills.

Simon Conington, Founder of BPS World, has urged the government to ensure that the UK continues to have access to skilled professional from Europe, particularly in the sectors where there are already skills shortages, or face a sharp decline in the UK’s ability to compete.

Although the UK will not be leaving the EU until 2019 we can expect an announcement this year on the shape of Brexit and what it will mean in practice. Under so-called ‘hard-Brexit’ freedom of movement would be restricted and it would be as difficult for talent to be recruited from France as from the US.

It is this that alarms those at the sharp end of skills shortages, such as BPS World. Recruits themselves are already showing signs of being aware of these new competitive forces: research revealed that almost half (48 per cent) of UK jobseekers were more concerned about finding a job than before the referendum.

Last year BPS World spoke to business leaders, representative bodies and professionals in the recruitment and retention sectors in Europe, India, Australia and the USA. The research focussed on the sectors most affected by skills shortages in the UK and overseas. It is in these sectors that the impact of Brexit and any restrictions or changes to work permits, is likely to be most keenly felt.

One of those they spoke to was Marco Dadomo, from the Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI, Association of German Engineers) in Düsseldorf: “As we know, Britain has already problems finding enough specialists in this sector. Brexit will make it less attractive for international experts to work in Britain for a British company. We have also heard that quite a lot of UK experts of different sectors plan to leave Britain when Brexit will be implemented.”

Simon Conington, Founder of BPS World argued; “2017 is going to be a pivotal year for the UK economy. The decisions the government makes now on the implementation of Brexit will affect our ability to attract the talent we need to grow. The impact will be felt immediately as talent will not come to the UK if they know they will have to leave within two years.  We urge the government to continue to ensure we have access to skilled people, particularly in sectors where we’re already struggling to find the talent we need.”

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the REC welcomed the report: “This review of the international community’s fears and needs following the EU referendum contains warnings about the challenges employers could face in the future. The prospect of skill and talent shortages intensifying in higher-end sectors is a huge concern. The government must ensure that any changes to immigration policy as a result of the EU negotiations reflect immediate labour market needs so that businesses can continue to grow.”

Brexit: What the World is Saying is available free to download from www.bps-world.com.

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