Uncertainty over the future status of EU nationals in the UK, and the possibility of the end of free movement of workers between the UK and EU countries post-Brexit is exacerbating more long-standing concerns about skills shortages in certain sectors of the UK economy.
Official data shows that EU nationals are already beginning to leave in large numbers, and surveys show many more are thinking of leaving.
The government’s obsession with reducing net migration to the UK to the "tens of thousands" has also meant more stringent rules being introduced for non-EEA nationals seeking to come to Britain to work, and sent out unwelcoming signals to any skilled worker considering the UK as a destination.
With many sectors of the economy dependent on EU and other non-British workers, employers and sector organisations are becoming increasingly alarmed that current skills’ shortages will get worse.
Trade unions have been particularly critical of the UK government for its negative rhetoric towards migrants and its refusal to give cast-iron commitments to EU nationals living and working in the UK that they can maintain their current status post-Brexit, while not doing enough to ensure that British workers can meet the skills needs of the UK labour market.
Read my full article in Labour Research trade union magazine here