How has Brexit Impacted the Recruitment Industry in London

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Since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, there has been great uncertainty concerning how the job market would be affected. Will London remain an attractive option for employers and employees alike? Or will EU nationals simply opt to return to the mainland in search of more stable employment?
In terms of recruitment, employers across all sectors are finding it increasingly difficult to fill vacancies due to a distinct lack of available talent. In July, a survey from the Independent revealed that the availability of workers suffered its biggest drop in 18 months.
Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Kevin Green, said: “We can’t ignore the importance of our relationship with the EU to employers. If we want to keep our jobs market successful and vibrant, we must make it easier, not harder, for employers to access the people they want.” The UK is not doing enough to keep EU workers in the country and this may need to be tackled, as a recent survey by Deloitte indicated that 38% of lower-skilled EU nationals are considering relocating to mainland Europe.
It’s not all bad news though, as the drop in applicants is resulting in an increase in pay for those just starting or already in work. Salaries for those in both temporary and full-time employment are rising as a direct result of the fall in the number of job applicants. Unemployment figures are dropping to levels not seen since the 1970s with the number of permanent jobs growing rapidly, all of which are affecting the recruitment industry.
The government is also attempting to reassure EU nationals considering their options in the post-Brexit era. There are plans to issue a direct appeal to 100,000 EU nationals living and working in the UK, encouraging them to stay and reassuring them of their status as settled citizens.

Theresa May has recently come under fire for using EU nationals and UK nationals abroad as bargaining chips in ongoing negotiations. To add fuel to the fire, the UK government has also been criticised for making it harder for citizens to gain settled status through long and overly complicated application forms. The government is responding to these criticisms and has promised to streamline the process and instead offer a shorter digital application form.
Whether governmental attempts to persuade EU nationals to stay will be successful remains to be seen. Brexit has created both challenges and opportunities and the government’s next steps in the negotiation process will be hugely important in shaping the recruitment industry in the coming years.
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