- EU migration to the UK has dropped to its lowest level in 10 years
- Number of migrants from South Asian countries, including India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, who started work in the UK increased by 30%
- More and more businesses are turning to hire agency workers and temporary staff to tackle skills shortages
Confusion is probably the feeling that most of us are experiencing concerning Brexit. We are well past the planned deadline for when the UK was to leave the EU and we still have no idea how or when the exit might happen.
One thing we are fully aware of is the impact on recruitment as businesses and talent acquisition professionals are gradually beginning to adjust their talent strategies to compensate for a reduction in available EU candidates, due to Brexit.
The latest figures from The Office for National Statistics show that EU migration to the UK has dropped to its lowest level in 10 years as EU candidates, in particular, those from the EU8 group of countries including Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic that joined in 2004, shun the UK.
Migration to the UK from outside the EU, however, rose at a much faster rate as recruiters look beyond the EU for top talent.
Indeed, the number of migrants from South Asian countries, including India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, who started work in the UK increased by 30%, as the number of EU workers continued to drop dramatically.
India alone saw a 43% increase in the number of national insurance (NI) registrations over the same period in 2017, making it the third largest source of new migrants.
There are however further changes occurring that also indicate even further that businesses are changing how they recruit, as more and more businesses are turning to hire agency workers and temporary staff to tackle skills shortages.
The Recruitment and Confederation Agency’s (REC) April Jobs Outlook report found the balance of sentiment for hiring agency workers in the short term (over the next three months) was 10 percentage points higher in April than in March.
Neil Carberry, REC chief executive, said the dramatic change in mood could be attributed to the delay to Brexit, which had given firms “breathing space”.
“The figures on hiring temporary workers suggest that many businesses are turning to agency work to help them navigate the unpredictability they currently face. This might be driven by waiting to see whether permanent hiring is justified, or by using additional labour to meet demand, rather than making big capital investments,” said Carberry.
As we await a clear outcome over Brexit, there are still positive signs that the UK’s job market can remain resilient and that the UK is still able to find the talent it needs elsewhere.
But the latest figures do highlight that the UK businesses are nervous about making any long-term investments and therefore, now more than ever we all need to know what theBrexit deal will look like.