The impact of Brexit and the ageing population on the UK’s employment market is the focus of Mercer’s newly published Workforce Monitor which it describes as a ‘wake-up call’ for UK employers amid predictions of an ‘unprecedented labour shortage’.
If Brexit leads to a fall in the availability of migrant workers, Mercer predicts that the ‘inability’ of UK employers to hire in specific sectors could be significant. Even without Brexit, sectors such as engineering will struggle to meet demand.
Industries relying on seasonal workers, such as agriculture have already raised concerns over their ability to recruit sufficient staff numbers and the reluctance of UK born workers to apply for jobs in the industry. This comes at a time when online job searches from Eastern Europe for health and social care jobs fell by a reported 17% after last year’s referendum vote. The extent of the reliance on EU migrant workers was reflected in the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). From July to September 2016, the number of non-UK born people working in Britain rose by 430,000 – over 10 times more than the rise in the number of UK employees.