Recruiters fear jobs market collapse over referendum

Separate reports from two major recruiters on Tuesday contained dire warnings for the UK jobs market and over skills shortages should there be a vote to leave the European Union in the 23 June referendum.

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A survey of more than 2,000 recruitment professional by the independent job site, CV-Library, found that 66.3 per cent believed a Brexit would lead to skills shortages while 60.9 per cent believed it would result in job cuts.Meanwhile, employment group Manpower issued a report saying that leaving the EU could leave British industry "critically short" of workers.The CV-Library research also found that 57.5 per cent of recruiters felt the lack of EU workers after a Brexit would drive up recruitment costs.Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said, "With just over a week to go until D-Day, these findings reveal the true extent of a possible Brexit on UK jobs. It's clear that recruitment professionals are concerned about the impact on their access to skilled workers, which is unsurprising given the nation is already facing skills shortages in key sectors."There are a number of economic pressures in the current climate, and whether we stay or go, businesses will need to prioritise investments in robust hiring strategies to ensure they overcome recruitment challenges."Britain is an international hub, with many large corporations basing their European headquarters in the capital. If the nation does decide on a Brexit, employers could face a lack of foreign investment, as well as a huge reduction in available talent, resulting in a major shift in the nation's job market. While the candidates that obtain the key skills currently in demand should be able to use this to their advantage, businesses facing cuts as a result of leaving the EU may not be able to meet their expectations, particularly when it comes to salaries."The Manpower report said that leaving the EU would be particularly damaging for major construction firms, which have relied on European workers.James Hick, managing director of the Manpower Group, said, "Britain added 404,000 jobs in the last 12 months alone, and despite the uncertainties of Brexit, employers tell us they still need more workers."Make no mistake about the vital contribution EU workers make to Britain. There are currently 2.2 million people from the EU working in the UK, but not all of them will stay here in the long term and we need the opportunity to replace the skills they bring."Britain today is a magnet for international talent, from finance to tech to the NHS. Leaving the EU will make it much more difficult to attract the brightest and best. It will mean more bureaucracy for those coming to Britain and salaries could be less competitive, especially if sterling falls, as many warn it could."To compete on the world stage British businesses need the flexibility and free movement that EU membership brings."


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