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East Midlands Chamber News

Two-thirds of firms anticipate staffing problems post-Brexit

Two-thirds of companies believe they will have workforce access or retention difficulties after Brexit, according to interim results of the first proper survey conducted into the impact of the UK leaving the EU.

 

A look at the mid-stage findings of the East Midlands Chamber’s second Quarterly Economic Survey of 2018, sponsored by the University of Leicester School of Business, revealed that 66.7% of respondents expected staffing difficulties post-Brexit.

 

Of those identifying a risk, 8.5% said they were ‘extremely exposed’, 21.8% said they would be ‘somewhat exposed’ and 36.4% said they would be ‘a little exposed’.

 

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber, said: “The survey still has nearly a week to run, but these early results are confirming what our members have been telling us since the referendum, which is that retaining a suitably experienced and qualified workforce post-Brexit is a major concern.

 

“It is vital that East Midlands companies have access to the workers they need after the UK leaves the EU to ensure the region can continue to be a respected player and global leader in, for example, advanced technologies.

 

“Without access to the right workforce we could quickly fall behind global competitors, which would ultimately damage the UK economy and our reputation on the world stage.”

 

The results of the first Quarterly Economic Survey of the year revealed that over half (57%) of respondents had found difficulty finding suitable candidates for professional and managerial roles. More than four-in-ten (42%) struggled to fill skilled manual and technical vacancies. Nearly a quarter (24%) couldn’t fill skilled or unskilled positions and 16% couldn’t find suitable clerical staff.

 

Chris added: “What the provisional figures for the Brexit-focused questions in the second Quarterly Economic Survey are telling us is that work still needs to be done to address these recruitment and retention difficulties before the UK leaves the EU. Companies need to be putting measures in place now to ensure that the transition to a post-Brexit economy is as seamless as possible.”

 

The absolute minimum firms should be doing is contained in a checklist put together by the Chamber’s Brexit Advisory Group - set up in collaboration with Chamber Strategic Partner RSM, one of the UK’s leading providers of audit, tax and consulting services, to help regional businesses navigate their way through the Brexit process.

 

The checklist can be downloaded free from https://bit.ly/2LmZCHZ.

 

The second Quarterly Economic Survey, with its Brexit focus, closes on 12 June. To take part visit https://bit.ly/2LeMKUZ.

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