Impact of Brexit on skills crisis not significant for SMEs

There is little worry that Brexit will have a radical effect on global talent markets, but there is a fear that Britain will be the main loser, a new report reveals.

BPS World, the global resourcing specialist, published ‘Brexit: What the World is Saying’. The White Paper is the result of extensive research BPS carried out to understand the international perspective on Brexit and how other countries believe it will impact on skills crisis.

The report finds that there is little sense that Brexit will have a radical effect on global talent markets, but a fear that Britain will be the main loser in the skills crisis. Experts from around the world recommend that, following Brexit, the UK should focus on digital and high-end talent.

BPS spoke to business leaders, representative bodies and professionals in the recruitment and retention sectors in Europe, India, Australia and the USA.

The research focussed on the high-value digital, technical and engineering industries which have most been affected by skills shortages in the UK and overseas. It is in these sectors that the impact of Brexit and any restrictions or changes to work permits, is likely to be most keenly felt.

The research reveals concern about the economic effects of uncertainty following the Brexit vote. Common international opinions/beliefs is that Britain will lose talent as the result of Brexit and will struggle more with skills shortages.

Digital skills are a global phenomenon and a key criterion when it comes to attracting talent is an economy’s broader innovation culture.

Brexit offers the UK an opportunity to focus strategically on high-end talent

Focus on retention of high-skilled talent in engineering, digital and technology in order to avoid an immediate talent drain.

Simon Conington, founder of BPS World explains, ‘It is very easy for us to second guess what the world thinks about Brexit, as everyone has been doing, but recent elections have shown just how wrong our perceptions can be. We felt it was essential to ask and this report is the outcome of that research.’

Kevin Green, chief executive of the REC, says, ‘This review of the international community’s fears and needs following the EU referendum contains warnings about the challenges employers could face in the future.

‘The prospect of skill and talent shortages intensifying in higher-end sectors is a huge concern. The government must ensure that any changes to immigration policy as a result of the EU negotiations reflect immediate labour market needs so that businesses can continue to grow.’

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