Brexit: How will leaving the EU affect the UK job market?

Deal or no deal, the UK is set to leave European Union (EU) by the end of March. The implications of this have been widely discussed but whether the powers that be oversee a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit, the UK job market is sure to have a different look to it as a result.

Brexit and the tech skills shortage

There are understandable fears that the UK could experience a skills shortage with new laws likely to make it more difficult for British firms to recruit from other European countries.

A recession could also cause a wave of EU nationals to leave the UK as the value of the money they send home reduces. This means Brexit could be particularly troubling for the technology sector, where an already shallow talent pool may well be about to become considerably smaller.

Due to a lack of qualified candidates domestically, much of the UK’s tech workforce currently comes from the EU. Losing a significant portion of the two-million-plus migrants working in the UK will therefore leave British firms with vacancies to fill and the battle to attract the best talent will only intensify.

Uncertainty still surrounding Brexit means predicting exactly what will happen in the job market is extremely difficult. However it is certainly not all doom and gloom, especially if you are hoping to pursue or further a career in the UK.

How can you prepare for Brexit?

Companies currently relying on European talent will of course need to rethink their recruitment strategy, but the jobs will still be there for those possessing the relevant skills and experience. In fact, there has arguably never been a better time to upskill and develop professionally. Doing so will ensure you are at the front of the queue as opportunities start to appear following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Training does of course cost time and money, but the pay-off will almost certainly be worth it. The digital economy, for example, continues to experience huge growth in the UK and the need for talented Digital Marketing professionals has never been greater. Similarly, IT jobs are being created with the demand for qualified candidates still outstripping supply.

This skills gap is likely to only widen as a result of Brexit. Just make sure you are ready to help fill it.

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