Recruiters and employers are turning to apprenticeships and direct contact with local universities to develop domestic talent, as research suggests UK firms are increasingly struggling to fill roles.
The latest Labour Market Outlook from HR management professional association the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and recruitment giant Adecco finds business leaders are reporting labour and skills shortages throughout food manufacturing, healthcare and hospitality as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June. The report also shows one in four report EU nationals they employed were thinking of leaving their organisation or the UK this year.
Speaking to Recruiter this morning, Stephanie Newitt, managing director at DR Newitt, said her agency’s new product development division had seen a marginal drop-off in applications, while its engineering division is currently placing a similar numbers of candidates compared to before June’s Brexit vote.
But Newitt added that to meet the resourcing challenges its clients face in the long term, she is currently working with universities local to its Manchester branch.
“We’re actually for the first time contacting UK universities. We are now trying to get graduates with engineering degrees. We are trying to get a graduate bank ourselves from UK universities.
“In the past you could rely on EU nationals because they would always respond to an advert but if they are not going to apply, we’ve got to find them within the UK.”
That theme of looking for new solutions to the UK’s resourcing challenges was also picked up by Adecco Group UK & Ireland CEO John L Marshall in commenting on the report’s findings. “It is encouraging that some employers are beginning to look to new solutions for their future workforce with investment in retraining and apprenticeships, but many more need to begin this planning and investment in their workforce.
“Whilst the outcome of Brexit negotiations is still uncertain, employers’ access to EU migrant workers is likely to change. Investing in young people is a solid long-term strategy, but employers also need to face the facts and prepare for a situation where they might lose access to significant numbers of skilled EU workers in the near future.”
Meanwhile Olivia Spruce, operations director at healthcare staffing specialist TFS Healthcare, told Recruiter her agency has seen a drop off in applications from non-UK EU nationals, particularly for permanent roles.
“We have to work really, really hard to reassure those candidates that our doors are very much open and NHS Trusts would love to speak with EU candidates on a permanent or locum basis.
And with Parliament approved government’s Brexit Bill without guaranteeing non-EU UK nationals could stay in the UK post Brexit, Spruce called on government to provide clarity for non-UK EU workers as soon as possible. “Were government to provide greater clarity, it would make it easier for us. It would just make England a much more attractive place to relocate for EU workers.”
- Want to comment on this story? The Comment box is at the bottom of the page. Sorry for the glitch but just scroll right down and share your opinions!