New Research Produced by the CIPD establishes the need for a flexible, affordable, and straightforward immigration system

CIPD: As Brexit negotiations commence, business owners sound the alarm over immigration crisis

Recent research published by the CIPD has highlighted the demand for a direct, flexible and cost-efficient immigration system following Brexit.

The research produced by the CIPD displayed:

-UK employers struggled to fill low or semi-skilled jobs with UK born citizens and therefore had no option but to recruit EU nationals

-25% of employers believed that a requirement for a job offer for an EU migrant would see a negative effect on the business

-11% of business owners claim they have recruited less EU nationals since Brexit

It has been suggested that the end of free movement in the UK will cause havoc to UK businesses and public sectors, unless post Brexit Immigration Policies consider the need in the UK for not just high skilled workers but, low skilled labour workers from the EU as well. The CIPD have been seen to stress this throughout their research.

In addition, the research asks that businesses expand their recruitment and people development strategies to make sure that organisations are attracting and developing UK nationals, further pushing for the Government to make significant changes to the skills policy.

The Future: Tackling Post Brexit Labour Skills and Shortages

The Policy Report investigates the reason behind why UK employers recruit EU nationals. In addition, it reveals issues around the shortage of skills and the scope of UK nationals.

The report also makes an assessment on whether the UK’s decision to leave the EU has had any impact yet on employers in the event of recruitment and retention of EU nationals.

The main purpose of the report is to analyse solutions for the challenges and obstacles that UK employers will face when filling vacancies, in hope of forming a policy that fits all sectors.

“Alongside access to the single market, EU immigration policy is arguably the most important public policy issue facing employers and policy-makers resulting from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.” – CIPD

The Chief Executive of the CIPD, Peter Cheese states: “Access to skilled and un-skilled labour is a huge concern for employers. If the Government does not provide a straightforward, flexible and affordable immigration system for EU nationals post Brexit, as set out in our recommendations, significant numbers of employers are likely to face real skill shortages which may hold back their growth and performance.”

“With the Brexit negotiations starting this week, there is still little clarity on the immigration system that the UK will adopt after Brexit. An overly blinkered approach focused on simply cutting immigration to tens of thousands and focusing only on high skilled employees could leave employers high and dry, especially those who rely more on EU migrants to fill low-skilled jobs. The Government must therefore consult far more widely about their plans and invite employers to play a key role in shaping the future of UK immigration policy to ensure it works for businesses and the economy.”

“Our research also suggests that while Brexit will encourage some employers to work harder to recruit local candidates and people from under-represented groups in the UK, many employers are already working to build links with schools, provide apprenticeships and invest in training and yet are unable to find the skills and people they need.”

Within the report, the qualitive research identified that many employers struggle to attract satisfactory UK Nationals to fill low paid and low skilled job roles. Additionally, it was found that employers who are classed in the lower paid sectors (retail, hospitality, factory workers and care) had a higher chance of recruiting EU migrants as their expectations were lower for wages and employment conditions.

“Our research adds further weight to evidence that employers don’t recruit EU migrants in preference to British workers, but because they attract too few British applicants. Ideally, many employers would like to recruit more young people but working in a meat factory or a care home is not top of the list for school leavers now, and never has been.” – Heather Rolfe, Associate Research Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

There has been a substantial amount of criticism in regard to efforts made by employers when attempting to attract a larger range of UK candidates. It has been suggested that this particularly occurs in organizations such as, food manufacturers, hospitality and care, which heavily rely on migrant workers.

The report concludes by urging the new Government to implement a future Immigration Policy that is viewed as, straightforward, flexible and affordable.

How Can We Help?

If you are unsure about how these potential changes to employment law might affect your business, or simply want to check your company’s compliance generally, contact us and we will undertake a full review of your current arrangements and provide you with our findings and recommendations. Call us now for your free consultation – 0800 612 4772