Firms strug­gling with de­clin­ing EU worker rates

Beau­ti­ful bal­let dance Em­ploy­ers face lack of skills and labour

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY ALAN JONES

Firms are suf­fer­ing from a sup­ply shock due to fewer EU na­tion­als com­ing to the UK, ac­cord­ing to new re­search.

There has been a huge fall over the past year in the num­ber of EU-born work­ers in this coun­try, which is one of the rea­sons be­hind the wors­en­ing short­age of skilled staff, said the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Per­son­nel and De­vel­op­ment (CIPD).

Firms are re­port­ing prob­lems fill­ing va­can­cies be­cause of fewer and less suit­able ap­pli­cants, a sur­vey of 2,000 em­ploy­ers found.

T h e n u m b e r o f ap­pli­cants per va­cancy has fallen since last sum­mer across all lev­els of skilled jobs, said the CIPD.

The num­ber of EUborn work­ers in the UK in­creased by 7,000 between the first three months of 2017 and the same quar­ter this year com­pared with 148,000 between 2016 and 2017, said the re­port.

The num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for each lowskilled va­cancy has fallen from 25 to 20 in the past few years and from 19 to 10 for medium skilled posts.

Half of or­gan­i­sa­tions hav­ing re­cruit­ment prob­lems have in­creased start­ing salaries in re­sponse.

Ger­wyn Davies of the CIPD said: “The most re­cent of­fi­cial data shows that there has been a sig­nif­i­cant slow­down in the num­ber of EU na­tion­als com­ing to work in the UK over the past year.

“This is feed­ing into in­creas­ing re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion chal­lenges, par­tic­u­larly for em­ploy­ers in sec­tors that have his­tor­i­cally re­lied on nonUK labour to fill roles and which are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to the prospect of fu­ture changes to im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy for EU mi­grants.

“With skills and labour short­ages set to worsen fur­ther against the back­drop of ris­ing talk of a ‘no deal’ out­come with the EU, the need for the govern­ment to is­sue con­sis­tent, cat­e­gor­i­cal as­sur­ances about the sta­tus of cur­rent and fu­ture EU cit­i­zens, what­ever the out­come of the ne­go­ti­a­tions, is more im­por­tant now than ever.”

Alex Flem­ing of the Adecco Group re­cruit­ment firm, which helped with the re­search, added: “With Brexit loom­ing we’re see­ing a tal­ent short­age and a more com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place.

“In this can­di­date-short land­scape the pres­sure is on em­ploy­ers to not only of­fer an at­trac­tive salary, but also ad­di­tional ben­e­fits.

“In to­day’s en­vi­ron­ment em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits such as health­care, a strong pen­sion, flex­i­ble work­ing and a col­lab­o­ra­tive and em­pow­er­ing work cul­ture give em­ploy­ers a strong com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage in at­tract­ing the best tal­ent.”

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