25% of UK businesses say Brexit will compound skills shortages

  • 39% of UK businesses believe they will face skills shortages when hiring in the second half of the year.
  • A quarter of UK businesses believe that these shortages will be exacerbated by Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
  • 76% of businesses said Brexit will not impact their hiring volumes in the second half of the year.

Original research from Robert Walters has revealed that 39% of UK businesses believe that they will be impacted by skills shortages in the second half of 2016, with a quarter concerned that Britain’s decision to leave the EU will further compound this shortage.

Chris Hickey, Robert Walters CEO – UK, Middle East & Africa comments:

“A significant proportion of UK businesses believe they may face skills shortages as a result of the referendum’s outcome.”

“If businesses are unable to fill vacancies with professionals from the EU and the UK talent is pool is unable to meet demand, it is likely that we will see employers turning to other strategies for recruiting staff from overseas.”

“In the case of more junior roles, younger professionals on short term tier 5 visas from countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Korea can provide a valuable source of talent.”

“However, these professionals may be unable to achieve permanent residency status in the UK, meaning that employers must be conscious to maintain a sufficient talent pipeline with enough staff recruited into in junior positions who can eventually move into management roles.”


The survey also showed 76% of businesses do not plan to alter their recruitment strategies in 2016 as a result of the referendum. Just one in five businesses said that Britain’s decision to leave the EU would impact their hiring plans.

Chris Hickey continues:

“The fact that businesses are showing resilience around their hiring strategies, despite the uncertainty following the referendum is an encouraging sign, indicating a significant degree of confidence in the strength of the UK economy.”

“While it is likely that the economic landscape will change over the coming months, employers are evidently keen to maintain their hiring strategies despite the potential for a change in market conditions.”

To request further information, please contact Alan O’Doherty on 0207 509 8839 or alan.odoherty@robertwalters.com

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