Brexit Boom: Wages Up, Skilled Jobs Expanding, Says Top Recruiter


Post-referendum Britain is a land of opportunity, according to James Reed, one the country’s top business recruiters.

The entrepreneur acts as Chairman and Chief Executive of the REED Group of companies, including Reed Specialist Recruitment, Reed in Partnership, which operates a number of welfare-to-work programmes, and Reed Online, which operates the country’s biggest employment agency website.

Speaking to Sky News business presenter Ian King, the jobs guru pointed out that the labour market is “in really good shape”.

“There’s a lot of negativity in the news, but the labour market’s in good shape, it’s still growing… we’ve had 88,000 new jobs since last Monday, and it’s growing on last year; that’s two per cent on the same period last year. So, I’m very positive and optimistic,” he said.

Asked if these were skilled jobs Mr Reed confirmed that yes, “the fastest growing sectors are technology, transport and logistics, and health and medicine — engineering’s good as well.”

The top recruiter also confirmed that wages have been rising as the number of EU migrants entering the country tapers down — although he notes that, at the same time, Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has allowed the level of non-EU immigration to increase.

Non-EU migrants are significantly less likely to be in work in Britain than EU migrants, however, which perhaps explains why there has still been a positive effect on pay.

“I think everyone needs a pay rise, really, because it puts more into the economy,” Reed said.

“A lot of people have been going ten years without a pay rise; if you look at real wages they’ve been flat for a very long time.

“So, I think it’s a good thing, it’s a positive thing that people are getting pay rises — and we’ll see more of that in the year ahead, I believe, because there’s a shortage of talent, so employers are going to have to pay more to get people to move jobs.”

Reed’s comments will make uncomfortable reading for many bosses who have enjoyed being able to access a near-unlimited pool of pre-trained foreign labour for relatively low pay under the EU’s Free Movement migration regime, who are now having to improve their offer to British workers.

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