Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 20th December 2019
British companies are worried about how a post-Brexit immigration system might impact their ability to hire the people they need to work for them.
According to polling carried out recently by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), more than 70 per cent of British companies are concerned that they might struggle to access skills they need once the UK is officially outside the European Union.
Of particular concern for businesses is the idea that hiring people from overseas and within the EU will become more difficult and more complicated once Britain has established a new post-Brexit immigration system.
“The UK’s labour market has remained remarkably resilient in the face of tougher economic conditions and uncertainty,” commented Matthew Fell, the CBI’s chief UK policy director.
“But job growth is showing signs of tailing off and businesses are becoming more concerned about the competitiveness of the UK labour market.”
Mr Fell went on to say that whatever immigration system the UK ultimately introduces it should be straightforward enough to mean it doesn’t hinder the ability of companies to bring in staff they need from the EU and elsewhere.
“It needs to be simple from its first day of introduction and allow firms to access both the labour and skills they need to grow,” he said.
“After a generation-defining election, business and government must form a determined partnership and commit to working together to create a labour market that supports people and the economy,” Mr Fell went on to say.
Just less than 60 per cent of businesses polled by the CBI recently said they would expect to be negatively impacted if a new immigration system is introduced before it’s been simplified.
Close to 90 per cent of those asked agreed that a flexible labour market is either ‘vital’ or ‘very important’ to the UK labour market’s competitiveness and job creation capacities.
However, 57 per cent of respondents to the CBI’s surveys said that they expect to the UK’s labour market to become less attractive over the course of the next five years.