Businesses are struggling to fill vacancies as a result of drop in new EU workers, says report
Companies are suffering from a “supply shock” as fewer EU citizens come to the UK, and companies struggle to fill vacancies, according to a survey of 2,000 employers.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said the number of applicants per vacancy had fallen since last summer across all levels of skilled jobs, and said shortages were forcing many companies to raise wages.
The number of people moving to the UK from other EU countries has fallen to its lowest level since 2013, according to the latest official figures, with the net figure for long-term migration from the bloc at 101,000 in 2017.
The number of people applying for the average low-skilled vacancy has fallen from 24 to 20 in the past year and from 19 to 10 for medium-skilled posts.
Half of organisations with recruitment problems said they had increased starting salaries in response.
Gerwyn Davies of CIPD said: “The most recent official data shows that there has been a significant slowdown in the number of EU nationals coming to work in the UK over the past year.
“This is feeding into increasing recruitment and retention challenges, particularly for employers in sectors that have historically relied on non-UK labour to fill roles and which are particularly vulnerable to the prospect of future changes to immigration policy for EU migrants.”
Alex Fleming of recruiters the Adecco Group, which helped with the research, added: “With Brexit looming we’re seeing a talent shortage and a more competitive marketplace. In this candidate-short landscape the pressure is on employers to not only offer an attractive salary, but also additional benefits.”
A government spokesman said: “EU citizens make a huge contribution to our economy and we have been clear from the beginning of this process that we want these citizens and their families in the UK to be able to stay.
“After we leave the EU, the UK will continue to be the open country it has always been. We will have in place an immigration system that delivers control over who comes to the UK, but that welcomes the brightest and best who want to work hard and contribute.”