As net migration falls, British firms experience severe skills shortage.
Key UK industries are hiking up salaries, bonuses and offering tempting perks of up to £100,000 in the attempt to attract skilled expats from Europe
According to Immigration Law firm Migrate UK’s recent survey of 1,000 HR directors from a variety of British companies, UK business is losing skilled EU employees as they choose to return home and seek work in other EU member states.
The survey revealed that 39% of UK companies are experiencing severe skills shortages as their EU staff leave the UK, with manufacturing, financial services, IT and banking being hit hardest of all.
In these most affected sectors the numbers are much higher: 83% of financial services firms say they find it difficult to recruit staff.
The same goes for 86% of banking, 79% of IT companies, 66% of manufacturers and 63% of law firms.
In the attempt to find the solution and retain the exiting employees or attract new skilled workforce, some UK companies are offering a full range of perks to their staff including increased salaries and bonuses, extra holidays, free accommodation, company car schemes and even public school fees reimbursement.
Many are ready to pay for EU specialists’ permanent residence or British citizenship applications.
All in all, in the last two years the total value of all the extras offered to EU nationals vary from around £5,000 up to £100,000.
Around 19% of the surveyed businesses have paid between £50,000 and £100,000 in various perks; 20% have paid between £20,000 and £50,000; 16% – between £5,000 and £20,000 with 1% of the surveyed companies quoting the highest number of £100,000.
However, even such measures are not enough to close the existing skill gap, so more than a third (37%) of the polled businesses say they have to resort to hiring non-EU workers despite additional costs of a sponsor licence and various charges associated with non-EU workforce.