With Britain finally exiting the European Union and an unprecedented number of migrant workers returning to their home countries during the pandemic, many British businesses are raising the alarm on an incoming crisis of staffing shortages – dubbed by some as ‘Brexodus’.
In our recent eBook, we take a deep dive into the impact of Brexit across sectors such as Care, Logistics and Hospitality; and drawing upon industry research, conclude businesses should – rather than looking for ways to directly replace lost talent – instead take this opportunity to transform their approach to talent sourcing.
The impact of Brexodus in numbers
- 60,000 per annum recruitment short- fall for hospitality sector post-Brexit
- 79,000 European logistics workers left the UK in 2020
- 140,000 foreign care workers are currently employed in the UK
Why reskilling your existing workforce is not enough
In the post-Brexit labour market, the worst hit occupation will be those whose wages and perceived skill-level are too low to make foreign workers eligible for a visa. This problem will be particularly acute in roles with a historically high concentration and reliance on EU workers.
When concerns about staffing shortages were raised in the aftermath of the 2016 referendum, the popular response was that these roles would be filled by British workers. But the reality leaders are facing is that many of these roles are simply not appealing enough to most British workers to become full-time occupations.
Ultimately, what is needed is a way of making roles experiencing extreme shortages more palatable to British workers.
How a ‘blended’ workforce can combat the talent crisis
During the pandemic, many workers have been forced to switch occupations. Government research suggests that this phenomenon will become far more prevalent at the end of the job retention Scheme11. Experts believe as many as 25% more workers will have to change industries in the future because of the pandemic12; this will further increase the prevalence of flexible working arrangements – and the range of talent available for organisations that make flexible work easily accessible.
Forward-thinking businesses should start reimagining how they structure their staffing and how that affects the appeal of the work they offer. One promising model is the ‘blended’ workforce, where a greater number of flexible workers are brought in on a regular basis to patch up holes left by the Brexodus. In the eBook we explore the benefits that building a blended workforce can give to businesses, such as:
- Increased staffing efficiency and agility
- Hitting untapped corners of the British labour market
- Fitting the demand of modern workers who want more flexibility, control and options
For businesses hit particularly hard, embracing this ‘blended’ workforce may be the only truly sustainable long-term solution to the Brexodus.