Brexit bites UK travel industry recruitment
With 100 days having passed since Britain voted to exit the European Union, there has been a significant drop in interest from EU nationals in working in the United Kingdom, says specialist global travel recruitment firm, Progressive Personnel.
“Our statistics from January to June indicate that 49% of our placements in the UK were filled by British nationals; the rest by EU nationals. The picture from July to now, however, shows a dramatic drop. Some 74% of our placements in the UK were filled by British nationals vs only 26% by EU nationals,” said managing director James Roberts.
A further impact, says Roberts, is that there is a definite resistance to moving jobs.
The UK travel industry is dependent on EU nationals, especially in terms of their language skills.
“I spoke to a manager at a large inbound tour operator in London last week, herself an EU national, and she said only 14% of her team were UK nationals, the remaining 86% from EU countries,” Roberts said.
He adds he does not believe that EU nationals already working in the UK will be asked to leave. “My concern, however, lies with the British government stopping free movement to the UK, which will mean our talent pool will shrink and that we won’t have the language skills required by most travel companies, which would mean we would have to give renewed focus to language development in school curricula.”
Roberts says this will in turn result in a skills shortage, raising the amount that employers will be forced to pay those who have the required skills and a willingness by UK travel employers to train non-travel candidates.