Can the UK labour force meet demand after Brexit ?

Ready willing and able? Can the UK labour force meet demand after Brexit?

EU workers make up 7 per cent of the UK’s labour market overall but are particularly over represented in low-skilled roles where they account for 15 per cent of workers.

In our third report we look at what the optimum post-Brexit immigration system would be and address a question we hear a lot from policy-makers in relation to low-skilled roles:  what can employers and recruiters do to attract British workers into jobs currently done by EU nationals?

We spoke to recruiters and employers in the agricultural, food manufacture, industrial and hospitality sectors about the work they do to attract and retain British workers into roles that are often seen as unattractive and hard to fill. We conclude that despite their best efforts there are not sufficient UK nationals willing and able to fill the low-skilled roles currently done by EU nationals and that changing methods of recruitment and automation won’t be able to compensate for this.

The report contains recommendations for recruiters, employers and the government. They include:

  • No blanket salary threshold for EU migrants wishing to work in the UK after we leave the EU.
  • Provisions for temporary workers and a seasonal workers scheme to be included in any new immigration system.
  • Minimising the uncertainty that is deterring EU nationals from working in Britain by ensuring their right to remain, as well as ensuring EU workers feel welcome in the UK.