Majority of firms say Brexit won’t affect their hiring plans


A significant majority of employers say Brexit will not impact on their recruitment plans, suggesting business confidence will be able to offset any potential labour shortages created by Britain’s departure from the European Union.

This is according to the 5% Club, an employer-led group aimed at increasing the recruitment of apprentices and graduates. It surveyed nearly 200 UK employers and found 89% won’t change their hiring plans due to Brexit.

The 5% Club said that while there remains uncertainty about access to the EU labour market following Brexit, employers are confident apprenticeships can help bridge the gap should the UK lose access to skilled workers.

The survey showed firms were more concerned about issues other than Brexit, including the availability of information on apprenticeships in schools, which was cited by three-quarters of respondents as the main barrier to young people embarking on apprenticeships.  

Furthermore, nine out of ten respondents said improving the quality of information offered by school career services could help to change the image of apprenticeships at a national level.

Respondents also wanted to see more done to dispel the myth that apprenticeships are an inferior option compared to higher education.  The overriding focus on higher education was viewed as the second greatest barrier to the uptake of apprenticeships, and 87% of respondents said more should be done at a government policy level to promote apprenticeships as a viable alternative alongside higher education routes.

Lady Cobham, Director General of The 5% Club said: “It is positive to see employers reaffirm their commitment to apprenticeships despite the uncertainties presented by Brexit.

“Importantly, our members recognise that a more pressing need is around dispelling the myth that apprenticeships and ‘earn and learn’ placements are reserved for young people with less intelligence and that higher education is the only route to success. Indeed many young people choose pathways which move between vocational and higher education.”

“The 5% Club are passionate champions of vocational training and we hope that many more employers will sign up to our pledge to tackle skills shortages across different sectors and industries. With more and more members joining the initiative, we are getting closer to realising our dream of training the UK’s workforce of tomorrow.”

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

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