Up to one in five creative businesses could face the challenge of having to replace European migrant workers with UK nationals after Brexit, new research indicates.
A 2018 survey of 700 employers commissioned by the Creative Industries Council (CIC) found 18% employed migrants who were nationals of European Union (EU) countries, most frequently in skilled professional jobs. This result echoes findings from the Department for Education’s much larger 2017 Employer Skills Survey, which found 22% of the UK’s creative businesses employed an EU national.
Of these, about a third (29%) said their EU staff had skills they had not been able to find in British applicants. And 20% advertised roles outside of the UK, “suggesting that they had specifically sought out migrant workers because UK talent did not have the requisite skills”, says the report from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre.
“It follows, therefore, that if these workers became unavailable following Brexit then there would be a lowering of workforce quality because these employers would need to choose non-preferred candidates.”