UK Recruitment Industry Confirms Vacancies Increasing Despite EU Referendum Uncertainty


Research from the recruitment industry shows UK recruitment agency books boast more permanent and contract vacancies now than they had this time last year, despite supposed concerns about June’s European Union (EU) referendum.

Recruitment data published in new research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) shows that across the industry permanent employment opportunities have risen by two per cent, with contract vacancies increasing by seven per cent, reports Recriutment Grapevine.

Breaking down the numbers shows that vacancies in the financial sector climbed by 13 per cent, and by 10 per cent in the marketing sector. On the other hand, vacancies in the information technology and engineering sectors dipped by four and 12 per cent respectively.

Chief Executive of APSCo, Ann Swain, said: “Despite highly published job losses within the investment banking arms of Credit Suisse and RBS, and fears that an EU exit could cost up to one million jobs, our data shows that demand for permanent talent in the sector remains strong despite Brexit uncertainty.”

Ms. Swain admitted that traditionally high-risk areas of recruitment such as investment banking have been rendered less profitable by goverment regulation, but there has been commensurate growth in  opportunities “for compliance, analytical and change management specialists to work across other areas of the banking sector.”

Rebutting Project Fear-style warnings of economic collapse, she concluded: “This new landscape, coupled with year-end deadline pressures have resulted in consistently strong demand.”

Recruitment Grapevine quotes John Nurthen — Executive Director of Global Research for Staffing Industry Analysts, which compiles the report for APSCo — saying: “Given how sensitive temporary demand is to the state of the economy, the decent increase in professional temporary and contract vacancies suggests that the UK economy is still relatively stable despite the ‘cocktail of threats’ George Osborne warned about in his latest budget.”

In other evidence that scaremongering by the Remain campaign is being rejected by the markets, inward investment for tech industry startups is still flowing into the UK. The equivalent of €964 million was invested in just the first 10 weeks of this year, up almost 17 per cent from the full first quarter last year, reports Politico.

Britain has been Europe’s tech hub for the past decade, receiving a quarter of the €16.5 billion in venture-capital funding last year. Entrepreneurs like Andy Owens, who relocated travel start-up bd4travel from Germany to Britain, have shown their ongoing faith in the UK regardless of the Brexit vote because it is easier to do business here. He explained:

“People in London are much more willing to take a risk. A traditional European venture capitalist funder sees the downside risk and the UK sees the opportunity.”

Writing for This Is Money, economics commentator Alex Brummer says “the message is crystal clear. Even in the current overheated political atmosphere, commerce is not stopping, the prospects for the City look as bright as ever and all-comers are still arriving. So much for Brexit blight.”

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