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How will Brexit effect UK employment?

After months of debating and campaigning, the decision has been made for the UK h to leave the EU. Whilst a lot has been made about whether this is the wrong or right move for our country, one thing’s for sure that there will be a period of uncertainty about what will happen to our economy.

Whilst there’s no changing this and the whole of the country has to move on to make this decision work, there has been a lot of speculation about what will happen to the businesses of this country and the people that work within them. The truth of the matter is that at the moment we simply don’t know, and only when article 50 is activated and new trade agreements are negotiated will we know the true extent of these changes.

However, although we are still unsure about the true outcome of Brexit, there are a number of thoughts about what the outcome for UK employment could be. Firstly, much will depend upon whether the exit negotiations are successful and whether they’ll trigger a recession because of a reduction in economic growth.

Whilst many experts have warned that the industries most likely to be affected will be those in the service sectors who trade directly with the EU, they also say that the hit on house prices and interest rates could create troublesome times for those working in the construction and engineering industries.

A number of UK and international companies gave considerable warnings in the run up to the referendum saying that the UK would become a less attractive place to do business. Quite how realistic this is it’s hard to say, but what is clear is that many companies may choose to downsize if another recession does hit.

In addition to this, it may also mean that there are fewer jobs for graduates and potential apprenticeships, as businesses would be more likely to lower their intake. By how much would be impossible to say, but trade industries would need to ensure that they can keep costs low and workforce experience high if a recession did hit.

The final area that may affect the recruitment industry from the leave vote is the movement of workers throughout Europe. There are a number of pro-leave experts who feel the UK leaving the EU won’t result in the freedom of movement agreement being cancelled, and instead a more refined agreement with additional constraints will be drawn up.

However, if the worst was to happen and it was cancelled, it may create a slight skills shortage in the construction sector as EU migrants find it harder to get work in roles they are normally so vital. It will also mean that Britons will find it almost impossible to gain work abroad as they will need to obtain important visa’s and overcome increased barriers to entry. Instead they may need to fill those positions in the UK that are normally filled by EU citizens.

Whilst all of these scenarios are possible, one thing that’s clear from all the uncertainty is that nothing is currently set in stone, and we may not see any changes until the middle of next year.  As one of the UK’s leading independent recruitment agencies we will be keeping a keen eye on the changes from Brexit and will inform you of any further developments when we know them.

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