How reduced access to EU talent could sting UK economy and employers

How reduced access to EU talent could sting UK economy and employers

As the Brexit deadline draws ever closer, firms are already considering the impact that a reduced availability of EU talent will have on their businesses.

However, a new study from Oxford Economics highlights the effects will be even further-reaching – as the UK economy is likely to be hit hard, the Independent reports.

The researchers found that the average migrant from the EU contributes £2,300 more to the exchequer each year in net terms than the average adult, and over their lifetimes they pay in £78,000 more than they take out in public services and benefits.

The average UK citizen’s net lifetime contribution is zero.

“When it comes to the public finances, European migrants contribute substantially more than they cost, easing the tax burden on other taxpayers,” said Ian Mulheirn, the lead researcher.

Separate research from CFA UK has found that an increasing number of investment professionals are anticipating a ‘hard’ Brexit – with 67% expecting a soft Brexit this time last year compared with 58% who do today – and this could be affecting their attitude towards their jobs.

The survey of more than 800 members found that there are continuing concerns about the future competitiveness of London. Over three-quarters of all respondents (77%) still say that Brexit had deteriorated the competitiveness if the UK as a financial centre, and only 54% think their job will be safe.

Last month, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called on the Government to scrap net migration targets after Brexit because of the “significant” benefit that immigrants bring to the UK economy.

“Firms want to see reform to the UK’s immigration system, ensuring it remains sufficiently open to support our economy but with enough control to build public trust and confidence,” the researchers said.

“The stakes are high. Get it wrong, and the UK risks having too few people to run the health service, pick food crops or deliver products to stores around the country.”

The Home Office told the BBC: "After we leave the EU, we will end free movement and put in place a system which works in the best interests of the whole of the UK.

"We are considering a range of options that will ensure that we are in control of our borders and managing migration, while continuing to attract and retain people who come here to work and bring significant benefits.”

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The realities of Brexit are already affecting the UK recruitment industry. According to the latest quarterly Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD and The Adecco Group, growth in labour supply is failing to keep pace with labour demand, exacerbated by a ‘supply shock’ of far fewer EU nationals coming into the UK.

Alex Fleming, Country Head and President of Staffing and Solutions, The Adecco Group UK and Ireland, said that the candidate-short landscape is putting pressure is on employers to not only offer an attractive salary, but also additional benefits.

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