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| 15 February, 2017

Brexit Impact: Expat numbers drop, leaving hundreds of job vacancies

The UK is struggling to fill more than 700,000 job vacancies due to a shortfall in migrants

Image used for illustrative purpose. Union flags and the Big Ben clocktower cover notebooks are seen on sale in London, Britain, Thursday  December 17, 2015.  REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Image used for illustrative purpose. Union flags and the Big Ben clocktower cover notebooks are seen on sale in London, Britain, Thursday December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Reuters/Luke MacGregor
15 February 2017
This country is struggling to fill more than 700,000 job vacancies due to a shortfall in migrants
By Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter

Dubai: While employment opportunities may be scarce in this part of the world, there are labour markets out there that are struggling to find workers due to a drop in expatriate jobseekers.

In the United Kingdom, a number of job vacancies remain unfilled in hospitals, hotels, restaurants, retail stores and other establishments, as the number of migrants willing to work in the country, particularly non-British nationals from the European Union (EU), has dropped in the wake of the Brexit vote.

As of the last count, there are about 748,000 positions to fill around the country. Vacancies in retail and wholesale, manufacturing, health and accommodation and food services make up the bulk (45 per cent) of all vacancies.

Companies in the UK employ a high number of non-UK nationals from the European Union. It also attracts expatriates originating from Asian countries who work in the healthcare industry.

The UK also happens to be one of the top sources of talent for companies in the UAE. Over the years, the UAE has attracted a constant stream of workers from the UK and the rest of the EU.

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Hiring specialists, however, assured that the current labour shortage in the UK won’t affect the UAE market.

“The UAE is in a valuable position as firms look to hire existing professionals within the region.The expat movements between the UK and the UAE remains at a relatively similar level to previous years,” Gareth El Mettouri, associate director at Robert Half UAE, told Gulf News.

“With tax and treasury specialists in high demand with the intended VAT introduction on the horizon, many professionals with these specialist skills within the region are open to new opportunities that suit their desired salary range, working environment and work—life balance.”

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, in its report this week, also hinted that the UK skills shortage could worsen, citing that there is evidence that non-UK nationals from the European Union are considering leaving their companies or the UK this year.

“There’s a risk that many vacancies will be left unfulfilled which could act as a brake on output growth in the UK in the years ahead,” said Gerwyn Davies, labour market adviser for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.

“Employers in sectors like retail, hospitality and care will need to work much harder to attract candidates and combat labour shortages by improving the attractiveness of their jobs through better line management and job design, developing closer links with local educational institutions and improving pay and employment conditions where possible.”

© Gulf News 2017