UK faces shortage of workers

    The impacts of Brexit and lockdown have combined to create the worst shortage of potential job candidates on record in the UK. As the country begins to open back up following months of intermittent lockdowns due to COVID-19, the economy has surged, creating many more new jobs which simply cannot be filled.

    Due to Brexit, fewer EU workers have been able to get visas to work in Britain. Many of those who had been resident in the UK before Brexit had applications to remain indefinitely rejected due to insufficient salary, sub-par language skills, or other factors. EU workers have traditionally been more likely to be employed in lower-skilled jobs; around half of highly-educated workers born in the EU were employed in less skilled jobs as of 2019. As a result, recruiters working in these areas are struggling to fill a lot of the positions created by these departing workers.

    As a result of COVID-19, many businesses have also had to fundamentally change their methods of operating, to better accommodate remote working and changes in the customer base. The completion of the government’s furlough scheme has also meant that many workers are returning to full-time work in markets that have changed immeasurably since the beginning of the pandemic, and so they need to be retrained in order to fit the updated demands of the job market.