Workers ‘nervous’ to move jobs due to Brexit uncertainty, study finds

Workers ‘nervous’ to move jobs due to Brexit uncertainty, study finds

Anti-Brexit campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Workers are reluctant to change jobs because of continued uncertainty over Brexit, according to a new report.

Research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and KPMG suggested that the hesitancy was adding to a shortage of candidates for jobs, especially amid high levels of employment across the UK.

The number of permanent placements by recruitment agencies fell in recent weeks for the first time in over two years, while growth in job vacancies was down, the study indicated.



Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of REC told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “While permanent job placements are down, we are starting from a really strong place of high employment.

“It is certainly the case that if you are looking for a job, there are lots of vacancies out there.”

He added: “We are seeing a bit of nervousness out there though, that weaker number on new permanent jobs is really about both companies not knowing about what the terms of trade will be, and employees want to ride out this current period of uncertainty before they think about moving onto a next job.

“That is not a surprise. As soon as we get this uncertainty out of the way, the fundamentals of the British job market are still strong.”


'A smooth transition'

Mr Carberry suggested that despite the uncertainty, changing jobs is often the “best way” to increase your pay.

“A lot of recruiters in – healthcare, construction, accountancy – lots of sectors are saying that they can’t get their hands on enough candidates,” he said.

“While there is a bit of uncertainty out there and lot of employers are not doing the big growth in employment, there are definitely opportunities out there for people looking for jobs.”

He added: “What businesses are looking for in the Brexit position is clarity and looking for a smooth transition to whatever the final outcome is.

“If they get those, businesses are ready to hire and the most important thing is that we get the skills provision right as jobs are going to be higher skilled in the future.”