After Friday’s controversial decision to leave the EU, many UK citizens are worried about the future of their career in post-EU Britain. In an attempt to alleviate some of your concerns, I’d like to address some of the questions I have been asked this week.
Is my job safe?
We expect the economy to remain strong and that the types of roles that GCS recruits for (technology, engineering and financial services) – areas where there are skill shortages – will still be in high demand. In fact, According to Adzuna, there are currently twice the number of jobs on offer than people to fill them. If the economy is affected negatively, then what we have seen from previous recessions is that particularly in the roles that are business critical, demand actually increases as companies seek to secure talent.
Will this impact my career in any way?
In most cases the answer is no. However, some companies will be considering a more international focus, which brings multiple opportunities and openings. For example, relocating headquarters or offices involves the moving of systems, moving of staff and major re-integration projects, all of which create job opportunities in the short-term. My advice to anyone is always to remain open to all opportunities and continue to learn new (and transferable) skills. If and when a Brexit happens, this will stand you in good stead.
How has this affected the jobs market?
Most companies are continuing business as usual and keeping recruitment at the same levels. There are of course situations where we have seen roles put on hold because of the uncertainty with regards to the referendum – but I must stress that currently this is just the minority. Again, just exercise caution. For example, when considering a new position, ask how prevalent exports to the European Union are for your potential employer and how this may affect the business in the next 1-2 years.
Should I move job now or wait?
The best thing to do is continue your job searching as normal, bearing in mind the types of skills that you have are already in high demand. As mentioned previously, we feel that there will be no immediate impact on the economy other than some uncertainty. With any potential changes with regards to visas, or a reluctance of people from outside the UK to work in the UK, this may increase skill shortages in the short term and thereby increase demand and salaries. It’s worth nothing that in a recent poll by YouGov, 31% of SMEs believe the EU actually made it harder for them to recruit staff, so this is particularly true for smaller businesses.
I currently work in the EU. What would be the immediate impact my career?
APSCo (The Association of Professional Staffing Companies) believes there will be no immediate impact on UK workers who are currently residents in the EU - “it is safe to say that from a regulatory perspective – whether that’s issues around employment law, immigration, or working overseas – nothing will change this year, or indeed in 2017” . The UK government must trigger article 50 and go through at least a 2 year negotiation period before any decisions are made about workers in the EU. All the signs point towards the UK remaining a member of the single market with free movement of labour still applying. This is the sort of subject I hope to be able to update you with through the course of this regular blog.
I have EU staff working for me. What will happen to them?
There has been no change to the rules around free movement of labour. We have spoken to many EU citizens residing in the UK and they have expressed worries about what this means for them. Our advice would be to sit down with each of them and assure them that due to the complicated nature of the negotiations there will be no immediate change, and they remain a valued and important member of your team.
I will use my blog to keep you updated and abreast of any news regarding the UK leaving the EU, and will pass on any advice, tips and information that we believe is necessary to help you in this challenging environment.