Brexit & EconomyPoliticsUK at risk of Brexit talent brain-drain

UK at risk of Brexit talent brain-drain

Individuals who were younger, better-earning and with higher qualifications demonstrated a greater inclination towards considering leaving the UK, in KPMG survey

The UK risks losing around 1 million EU citizens working in the UK, roughly 3.1% of its national workforce, due to Brexit, according to a survey commissioned by KPMG UK.

Of those surveyed, 45% of EU citizens working in the UK said they planned to stay, 35% said they were considering leaving and 8% are already planning to leave.

While the UK remains an attractive place to work for a lot of EU nationals, the survey warns of a Brexit-induced talent brain drain, as individuals who were younger, better-earning and with higher qualifications demonstrated a greater inclination towards considering leaving the UK.

The research found that 50% of respondents with PhDs and 39% of those with postgraduate degrees said they were considering leaving, as are 69% of respondents earning over £200,000.

The top cited reason for EU nationals wanting to leave the UK was feeling less welcomed and valued, according to 50% of respondents.

What can employers do to retain talent?

With Brexit negotiations being thus far characterised by inconsistency and uncertainty, the survey showed that 51% of EU nationals are hoping for clear commitments from their employers that they want them to stay and 47% wanted more comms about how Brexit will affect them.

Although many employers may be waiting for a clearer picture from negotiations, this emphasises the urgency for employers to provide assurances and have an open dialogue with employees about the implications of Brexit.

The report outlines some suggestions for organisations to plan their post-Brexit workforce. Most importantly, businesses are encouraged to begin extensive workforce scenario planning and modelling to plan for any eventuality to come out of Brexit negotiations. KPMG also advises businesses to work on recruitment – both in terms of overseas workers outside of the EU as well as at home, suggesting recruiting on international campuses and using initiatives such as the Apprenticeship Levy to train up local talent.

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