Now and in the future

Managing Director Steven Massey is encouraged by the recent job vacancy figures and also looks ahead to how businesses will need to adapt to the new rules on immigration post Brexit.

Increase in vacancies is welcome

According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) the number of live job vacancies being advertised has hit 1.36 million, a milestone not seen since pre lockdown. The North-West of England has shown the quickest recovery, reaching pre-lockdown levels in early August whilst London shows some of the slowest recovery with nearly 19% fewer vacancies advertised.
Interestingly London also has the highest proportional uptake of the furlough scheme. Construction has shown great resistance to the downturn and unsurprisingly Logistics and food manufacturers/distributors have fared extremely well. Whilst unemployment and redundancy numbers are still disappointing, the numbers of firms recruiting new staff should encourage us. Predictably the slowest sectors to recover are those directly or indirectly engaged in hospitality.

Get Ready or Brexit

With Brexit looming recruiters and employers need to ensure that they are aware of the new rules regarding immigration. Whilst the finer details are yet to be released we do have the Home Office’s policy paper, which contains the framework of what is to come into force in January. Here we have outlined the key considerations:

  • There will be no real changes to immigration between the UK and the EU until January 2021
  • Free movement rights from within the EU will cease on January 1st 2021
  • Anyone already working in the EU before January 2021 may need to make an application to register his or her status
  • The new immigration system will very likely include the following:
    1. There will be no differentiation between EU applicants/migrants and those from elsewhere
    2. There will be a points based system allowing more skilled workers to enter freely
    3. There may be special VISAs issued to applicants looking to enter the UK and work in the seasonal agricultural peak
    4. There will be no special VISA for low skilled workers.

The government’s paper is putting an onus on employers to move away from a ‘reliance’ on low skilled labour. The points based system will revolve around job, salary and language requirements and in order to employ overseas nationals employers will need to become a licensed sponsor. In brief the criteria for bringing in staff from overseas will rely on the following;

  • A job offer from an approved sponsor
  • That job offer must be at the required skill and salary level
  • They must speak English at the required level
  • Being a sponsor allows you to recruit skilled workers globally for 4 years

Once you have a licence it will last 4 years before it requires renewal.