34% of UK managers say that their organisation has considered automating elements of their business in order to tackle skills shortages that might come about because of Brexit.
This number rises to 44% in London, according to the Adecco Group UK and Ireland's 'Brexit: retaining talent through change' report. The majority (71%) of managers think the UK's decision to leave the EU will make skills harder to acquire for organisations operating in Britain. A third (34%) think this regardless of the outcome of Brexit. Yet, one in five (20%) do not plan to employ any strategy to tackle Brexit-related skills shortages. Alongside implementing technology, those organisations that are considering different strategies to manage potential skills shortages, are thinking about upskilling existing staff (35%) and increasing talent retention (25%).
Alex Fleming, Country Head and President of Staffing and Solutions,the Adecco Group UK and Ireland, said: "The idea that Brexit will exacerbate the UK's skills shortage is not a new one, but with one in five businesses not planning to do anything to mitigate this, not all organisations are prepared to deal with this reality.
In order to not just succeed but thrive once the UK leaves the EU, every employer needs to have a plan for how they will address current and potential future talent challenges. Looking to other countries and how they have dealt with labour shortages can help. In Singapore, for example, organisations are being encouraged to create opportunities for older workers, and think about how they can design jobs to help extend their working lives. Alongside making better use of your existing workforce and improving your retention rates, thinking about how to attract potentially untapped sources of talent can help futureproof your organisation in the face of any skills gaps - Brexit related or not."
Dan Lucy, Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies, added: "Perhaps the key thing for employers to realise is that there are lots of things they can do now to address current and avoid future talent shortages. Many of the actions employers can take will also enhance employer brand and reputation in the jobs market, creating a virtuous circle and helping position those who take action as employers of choice."
After Brexit (33%), skills shortages (27%) are cited as the next most likely factor to hinder Britain's ability to remain globally competitive. Other concerns include a lack of investment in AI (9%) and a lack of financial investment from global businesses to operate in the UK (9%).
About the research: The survey of 1,000 managers in UK firms was carried out in October 2018 by Opinion Matters.
About the Adecco Group UK and Ireland The Adecco Group UK&I and its brands are part of the Adecco Group, the world's leading HR solutions partner. As a Group, we provide more than 700,000 people with permanent and flexible employment every day. With more than 34,000 employees in 60 countries - 3,100 in the UK&I - we transform the world of work one job at a time. Our colleagues serve more than 100,000 organisations with the talent, HR services and cutting-edge technology they need to succeed in an ever-changing global economy. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that meets social needs while driving business innovation. Our culture of inclusivity, fairness and teamwork empowers individuals and organisations, fuels economies, and builds better societies. These values resonate with our employees, who voted us number 5 on the Great Place to Work® - World's Best Workplaces 2018 list. We make the future work for everyone.
The Adecco Group is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Adecco Group AG is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN). The Group is powered by nine lead brands: Adecco, Modis, Badenoch & Clark, Spring Professional, Lee Hecht Harrison, Pontoon, Adia, General Assembly and YOSS.
The Adecco Group UK&I's head office is located in London, UK. We have 11 brands, including the Adecco Group UK&I, Adecco, Adia, Ajilon, Badenoch & Clark, Modis, Office Angels, Penna, Pontoon, Roevin and Spring.