BREXIT: POSSIBLE EFFECTS ON THE IT INDUSTRY

effects on staff

The IT sector was largely in favour of remaining in the European Union. As we now know, this is no longer an option. We watch as the stock market and currency fluctuations continue with every Brexit announcement.

But, what are the possible effects on the IT industry?

The World Trade Organisation imposes low tariffs on electronic goods, and the UK has a global reputation for providing services. This combined with large scale technology development being predominantly centred in the US is hopeful for the UK IT sector. With the government estimating a post-Brexit trade deal with the United States could boost the UK economy. This boost is predicted to be 0.16% over the next 15 years.

Most UK IT companies, fortunately, haven’t taken this for granted. They have ensured that strategies are robust, and streamlining operations. The industry, like many others, continues to prepare themselves for the unpredictable climate of the foreseeable future outside of the EU. However, certain unexpected and counterintuitive benefits have appeared. For example, uncertainty regarding the labour market.  

EFFECTS ON LABOUR

As we are aware, freedom of movement was consistently debated throughout the referendum. Effects to staffing considerations are becoming paramount. There are an estimated 2.27 million EU nationals working in the UK across all sectors. The uncertainty of immigration laws after Brexit leaves these workers and their employers concerned for their future working in the UK. Many are still asking whether the UK will still be able to attract skilled EU workers and what process will now be used to hire them. Although the question has been raised, it is still unclear yet by the government whether we will be using an immigration points system like Australia. 

These skilled workers, whether they will be hired via a new immigration system or not, are vital for the IT industry. This is highlighted by research that found between 2009 and 2015, 1 in 6 new hires in technology were EU citizens. Brexit has created urgency amongst people across the world who are looking to work in the UK. This is reiterated by the leap in skilled visa applications. Also through the sharp increase in talented IT staff available in the market since the referendum.  

Early indications suggested this trend would continue to grow in the lead up to Brexit. The government are expected to continue to welcome skilled tech workers from abroad. This has been proven by a 45% rise in technology skilled visa applications for the financial year 2018-2019. This is compared to the previous year. This resulted in 2019 being the 6th consecutive year of year-on-year growth in applications for the Tech Nation Visa.

SKILLED TECH WORKERS

As this demand for tech staff continues to race ahead of supply, there hasn’t yet been any indication of major changes around skilled immigration. Some companies have frozen their hiring efforts. Others are actively hiring a large number of skilled staff members before any new changes are announced in the Brexit transition period. Companies need to ensure they are not scared of ‘what ifs’. This could prevent them from ensuring they are staffed to requirement. Especially while quality technical workers are currently in the market for opportunities. 

As recruitment specialists, we understand and research into any effects on the IT sector. This allows us the opportunity to provide our candidates and clients with the most up to date knowledge on what is happening within their industry. 

Currently, we see the high demand for talents as there is a candidate shortage within our sector. Working on more jobs than ever before, our team are dedicated to placing excellent candidates in new opportunities. If you are looking for your next career move or would like to find the best talent for your organisation, visit our website, call us on 0121 285 5529 or email info@chapmantate.com