Workers flee from Brexit
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UK faces losing half of its highly skilled EU workers due to Brexit

3 Jul 2017

As Brexit draws near, the UK could lose some of its best tech employees over the next five years.

The rumours surrounding Brexit and its consequences vary greatly, depending on what side of the water you’re looking at it from.

From Ireland’s perspective, there are potential rewards to reap. For foreign workers in the UK, their future may seem uncertain. Many are looking at their options over the next few years as they watch the effects of Brexit unfold. But will they leave?

Future Human

A recent study from Deloitte showed that many of the more highly skilled workers, particularly those from EU countries, were considering leaving the UK in the next five years.

Overall, 36pc of non-British workers surveyed were thinking about leaving. Focusing in on the highly skilled EU workforce, the number jumped to 47pc. This number spikes again to almost 60pc when zoned into EU workers employed specifically in London.

And it’s not just the political and economic outlook that’s troubling for these employees.

More than half of non-British workers said there has been little or no communication from their employer regarding Brexit, failing to alleviate their worries or shed light on what it all might mean. As a result, most of those thinking about leaving the UK are considering returning to their home countries.

Deloitte surveyed more than 2,000 non-British workers, half based in the UK and half based outside it.

Those working outside the UK were more favourable, and still considered it to be an attractive place to work. Almost 90pc of those surveyed outside the EU said they would consider moving to the UK for the right opportunity.

In fact, it was considered the most desirable place to work ahead of the US, Canada and Australia.

According to Deloitte, this is a clear indication of the UK’s continuing power to draw international talent. However, the worrying level of highly skilled workers who are considering leaving will need to be addressed.

For a start, Deloitte said that potential skills gaps would need to be identified and tackled if the UK was to lose a significant portion of its talent.

It will then need to look at upskilling its own workforce to match these skills gaps.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the deputy editor of Silicon Republic in 2020, having worked as the careers editor until June 2019. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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