Make foreign workers welcome say recruiters

The UK must get back to creating an environment where overseas workers with badly needed skills are made to feel welcome, according to a new report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

People walk over a bridge with London bridge in the backgroun
The latest survey of 600 recruitment firms found that while British employers still had far-reaching ambitions to hire staff, continued uncertainty over Brexit posed a threat to these plans.Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said: “Today’s figures emphasise why businesses are so frustrated at the lack of a smooth and stable resolution of the Brexit debate."There is growth to pursue and there are jobs to create – businesses believe in themselves and are ready to go. But the unstable economic outlook continues to put a dampener on their ambitions.“Attracting workers to the UK to fill critical shortages and making sure they feel welcome, speeding investment decisions that create jobs, and investing in skills development for all workers are critical to our future success. It’s time to get back to this agenda.”

Employers concerned about finding qualified candidates

The survey, conducted by ComRes, found that almost half of the employers polled remained concerned about the availability of suitably-qualified candidates for jobs, especially in engineering, technology, construction, health and social care.But employers’ hiring intentions have remained positive despite Brexit with the Jobs Outlook report showing that, between June-August, demand for permanent employees in the short term rose by five percentage points from the previous quarter, to a net figure of plus-21. Medium-term demand also increased by seven points to plus-25.However, employers’ confidence in the UK economy fell by four percentage points to net minus-30, raising fears that these "ambitious" hiring plans could be hampered by the uncertainty over Brexit.The survey also found that three-quarters of employers emphasised that they had little or no surplus workforce capacity, the total rising to 85 per cent in the public sector.Some 49 per cent of employers of permanent staff expressed concern about the sufficient availability of candidates for permanent hire.

Car dealerships plan to cut employee headcounts after Brexit

Coinciding with the REC survey was a report from motor industry consultants Coachworks which found that some car dealerships were suspending staff recruitment plans or even reducing workforces because of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit.Karl Davis, managing director of Coachworks, said: “We’re seeing a number of car retailers, especially highly geared ones, with plans in place to reduce their headcount following Brexit.
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“We are aware of a sizeable group that has already drawn up a list of staff that will be cut when Brexit goes through. The affected jobs are across all departments, from operational staff to management, including some very good salespeople.“Dealers are seriously concerned about the continued impact Brexit is having on consumer confidence.”

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