REC on Migration Figures


Access to talent still a priority.

REC on Migration Figures

UK & Europe

The REC have responded to the publication of the first migration figures since the Brexit referendum. The statistics from the government shows National Insurance number registrations to EU nationals has risen to 150,468 in the three months following the referendum, up from 140,530 in April-June 2016.

“Recruiters are telling us that the prospect of EU workers returning home in droves or being put off coming to the UK is a major concern,” commented chief executive Kevin Green. “Today’s data showing that the volume of EU workers coming to the UK has stayed roughly constant in the quarter since the referendum will be a relief.

“We already have record low unemployment in the UK and employers have complained for a long time about how difficult it is to find the people they need,” he added. “In engineering and technology firms, on construction sites, and in school and hospitals, there are more vacancies than there are the people to fill them.”

According to the REC a quarter of businesses intend to hire more permanent staff in the medium term and employers in a range of sectors are reliant upon workers from the EU to help keep up with customer demand.

“Even if the government committed to investing in extra training places now, producing enough British-born nurses, teachers and engineers would take years not months and is a long-term solution to skills shortages,” says Green. “Employers must have continued access to workers from the EU to avoid a sharp loss of labour force capacity which the economy cannot afford.

“The government must ensure that any changes to immigration policy as a result of the EU negotiations reflect immediate labour market needs so that businesses can continue to grow and public services can continue to serve the British people,” he concludes.

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