Finance, Professional Services, and the Tech sectors have continued hiring by around 10-15%, and given that Finance roles in Wales currently account for just over 20% of all opportunities, that’s certainly positive news. Cardiff has also seen an increase in vacancies by nearly 8%, many of which are from the insurance sector. No surprise perhaps, given there are some major insurance companies (such as Admiral) headquartered in the city.
While there are reasons to be optimistic on a case by case basis, the overall picture is still one of relative uncertainty. As no one can fully predict the double whammy effect of Brexit and the Government’s immigration policy changes, caution is still being urged by a number of experts. James Chaplin, SEO of Vacancysoft, had this to say:
‘Following the victory of the Conservatives, Boris Johnson finally has the mandate to take the UK out of the EU. However, for Wales, this could pose bigger problems than the rest of the country. The concern for policymakers will be that a fall in investment is translating into depressed activity in the labour markets. A 6.9% year-on-year dip in vacancies is a clear example of this.’
Given that Wales is no longer eligible for the £680 million investment it has received from the EU every year, it’s a valid concern.
In Scotland and England meanwhile, there’s a real worry that rising vacancies in areas like care won’t be met due to the immigration policy changes, and lack of easy access to an EU workforce. The care industry isn’t the only one to vocalise these issues – a number of key sectors from across the UK have already spoken out about the impacts of Brexit and the immigration policy on their workforces.
On the one hand, it could be argued that the rising vacancies in areas of finance and tech are exactly what the Government is pushing for with its idea of Britain as a place for high tech innovation and talent. Before this can happen however, there are serious problems that need to be addressed, including:
- Not all jobs can be easily automated, or automated at all.
- Development and adjustment to automated processes will take time for businesses.
- These changes will be expensive.
- The workforce needs to upskilled, which will also take time and money.
- The loss of easy access to trained/skilled workers from the EU.
With Britain due to leave the EU at the start of 2021, many leading voices from key sectors are arguing that solving these issues is simply not possible in such a short timeframe. As a result, we could see some serious changes to the immigration policy, as reality starts to bite in the coming months.