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August 2017

Fears that Brexit will spark EU worker exodus

Published: Thursday 31 August 2017

By David Fuller 

A new study has found that more than one million EU workers currently living in Britain see their future outside the country post-Brexit.

The survey, carried out by professional services firm KPMG, found that a group equivalent to 3.1 percent of the national workforce – approximately one million people – now see their future in Britain as over or hanging in the balance. Most respondents from EU countries who are currently living and working in the UK said that they felt less valued now than they did prior to the Brexit vote. Meanwhile, other respondents said they were pro-European and didn’t agree with leaving the Union.

Many of those who state they will leave the UK in the near future are young, highly qualified and much sought-after by businesses. The survey revealed that 55 percent of respondents with PhDs and 49 percent of those with postgraduate degrees were either planning to leave the UK or were actively considering it. 
 
KPMG found that 33 percent of those earning £15,000 to £20,000 were reassessing their future in the UK, while a massive 77 percent of those earning more than £200,000 were doing so.

As part of the same study, KMPG asked 1,000 people in the 10 EU countries judged as most likely to supply labour to the UK what they felt the most desirable European countries are to live in.

While the UK was still in the top five, third only behind Germany and Sweden, nearly half (49 percent) of those questioned said they felt it was now less desirable than before the referendum in June last year.

Another recent study from the UK’s Manufacturing trade body, EEF, suggested that 26% of manufacturers say they have seen a decrease in applications from EU nationals since the EU Referendum. Over three-quarters (76%) of UK manufacturers have at least one EU national working for their business and EU nationals make up an average of 11% of the UK’s manufacturing workforce, with 87% UK nationals and 2% non-EU nationals.

Read more opinion about potential changes to the workforce post-Brexit and guidance for businesses wanting to attract and retain overseas talent in Vision: Brexit.
 
 
 

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Halo Financial won Best Customer Focus category in the 2016 Best Business Awards; received OPP Gold for Best Supporting Service; the Gold Award for Financial Support and Innovation from Relocate Magazine, Commendations in the 2016 and 2017 Moneyfacts Awards and has 5 out 5 Star Customer Gold Merchant Status via independent review website, Feefo.com, winning their Gold Trusted Service award. 



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