One third of non-British workers are considering leaving the UK, with highly skilled workers from the EU most likely to go, according to new research into the impact of Brexit on the jobs market, reports the London-based The Guardian.
A study by Deloitte, a global consultancy firm, indicates that 47% of highly skilled European Union workers were considering leaving the UK in the next five years after Brexit and huge uncertainty around UK’s economic outlook, while overall one-third of non-British workers could leave.
The Deloitte study rhymes with other evidence that the Brexit vote has prompted some workers from other EU countries to leave already or consider going.
This is partly because of uncertainty around the UK’s economic outlook and because any money those workers earn in pounds is now worth less in euros for them to send home. The pound fell sharply after the referendum and is still down 13% against the euro compared with the day of the vote.
The report released on Tuesday, June 27, warns of serious implications for employers, raising the pressure on ministers to come up with sensible immigration plans and to find ways to improve the skills of UK workers and make better use of robots in the workplace.
Overall, 36% of non-British workers in the UK said they were thinking of leaving within the same period, representing 1.2m jobs out of 3.4 million migrant workers in the UK. Just more than quarter (26%) said they were considering leaving within three years.
Deloitte surveyed 2,242 EU and non-EU workers, half living in the UK and half living outside, to assess their views on what makes Britain attractive and how likely they would be to come to, or leave, the country.
The survey, conducted before this month’s inconclusive election result, found the UK was still an attractive place to work for overseas residents but the referendum had shifted perceptions among those already here.
For respondents based outside the UK, the country was ranked as the most desirable place to work, with 57% of respondents placing it in their top three destinations. That put the UK ahead of the US, Australia and Canada for popularity.
But among workers already in the UK, 48% said they saw the country as being a little or significantly less attractive as a result of Brexit. Only 21% of workers outside the UK shared that view.
“The UK’s cultural diversity, employment opportunities and quality of life are assets that continue to attract the world’s best and brightest people,” said David Sproul, chief executive of Deloitte North-west Europe.
“But overseas workers, especially those from the EU, tell us they are more likely to leave the UK than before. That points to a short- to medium-term skills deficit that can be met in part by upskilling our domestic workforce but which would also benefit from an immigration system that is attuned to the needs of the economy.”
The referendum effect was strongest among highly skilled EU workers in the UK, with 65% describing the country as less attractive since the Brexit vote. Among less-skilled workers, 42% of EU nationals and 25% of non-EU nationals said the UK was now less attractive.
Other research has suggested vacancies are getting harder to fill with one recent poll by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation flagging skills shortages across a range of more than 60 roles. Other figures showed a 96% drop in the number of nurses from the EU registering to work in the UK since the referendum.