Brexit’s Early Immigration Impact: Losing the workers we need the most


The digital research looked at volumes of online searches within different sectors and countries, and the opinions and intent indicators of people investigating a move to the UK.

The results reveal that interest in UK jobs for male dominated employment sectors continues to rise, for example in Poland a 22 per cent increase in interest in construction jobs can be seen.

In contrast interest in employment sectors that tend to attract couples and families are experiencing a decline. In Poland there are more health and social care jobs being advertised than any other sector, yet interest in these jobs is falling, down 17 per cent since June 2016. Polish employee demand for jobs for couples in the UK decreased by 52 per cent.

Fleur Hicks, MD of OneFourZero commented: “When we look at the immediate impact of the leave vote on workforce issues we see the areas where demand by employers is highest are the ones experiencing a negative impact in terms of prospective employees’ interest in coming to the UK. We expect the uncertainty of the current situation to put off families and couples, but the impact this will have on specific sectors is perhaps being underestimated.”

Futhermore, the research found that current UK ex-pats expressed concerns about a range of issues – 19 per cent of Polish ex-pats expressed an intent to leave or discussed leaving the UK, while 14 per cent were concerned about racism.

From analysing social media conversations, it has been revealed that international intent to move to the UK is particularly high in Ireland, followed by Canada and Nigeria – of the top 10, three countries, Ireland, Spain and Germany, are in the EU.

Robin Grainger, Co-Chair of GK Strategy commented: “While the uncertainty Brexit brings is having an impact on whether or not some EU citizens desire to come to work in the UK, it is worth noting so far there has been no significant decrease in the number of jobs being advertised in these countries by UK employers.

“It’s still early days, but we see this potentially growing shortfall in supply verses demand as a clear example of some of the workforce problems that are on the horizon in a post-Brexit world. Obviously this is something employers across a variety of sectors need to keep an eye on as the situation will continue to change.”