Brexit uncertainty prompting 1 in 3 young people to consider leaving the UK for work

  • 40% of respondents working in London are most likely to consider moving to another European country for work.
  • 81% of respondents in the East of the UK said they had no plans to leave.
  • Nearly a third of those in IT and telecoms (31%), real estate (37%) and media, marketing and advertising (33%) said they would consider moving to the European Union to work.
  • (76%) of those over 55 years old and (66%) of those aged 45 to 54-years old said they would not consider leaving the UK to find work.

London, UK, 25 January 2021: One in three young people (16 to 35) are considering leaving the UK to work in another European country due to uncertainty around Brexit as well as the Covid-19 pandemic, according to latest research from Adecco based on a YouGov survey among some 1,000 UK workers. At the same time, more than three-quarters (76%) of those over 55 years old and about two-thirds (66%) of those aged 45 to 54-years old said they would not consider leaving the UK to find work.

The research further found that those working in the capital are the most likely to consider moving to another European country for work (40%) when compared to other regions in the UK; with all citing Brexit uncertainty and the pandemic as deciding factors for them.

Alex Fleming, Region President of Northern Europe Adecco Workforce Solutions, commented on the findings, “After a difficult year across the board these research findings reveal the true scale of the talent challenge UK companies face. Even with a Brexit deal and the vaccine rollout underway, the high levels of uncertainty are leading young people in particular to look outside the UK and London for work. If businesses do not act now to turn this around, they will lose valuable talent and ultimately risk their chances of successfully bouncing back in the long-run.”

The research uncovered some key industry differences. Nearly a third of those in IT and telecoms (31%), real estate (37%) and media, marketing and advertising (33%) said the pandemic and uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit have made them seriously consider moving to the European Union to work. In contrast, those in manufacturing (70%), transportation and distribution (68%) and education (69%) said they will be staying in the UK for work. This suggests that, despite fears Brexit would spark a mass migration of top talent away from critical industries, the UK will unlikely see a widespread “brain drain” of talent over the coming months.

Fleming continued, “To combat this, it’s more important than ever that companies continue to maintain a positive workplace culture. This means offering more flexible working and enhanced benefits such as mentorship programmes, as well as providing employees with the opportunity to upskill within a role. Companies must create compelling places for everyone to engage and learn. This will not only help to keep employees motivated and engaged but could be a deciding factor in whether they chose to remain working in the UK.”

All figures are from YouGov Plc unless otherwise stated. Total sample size was 1003 employees working in Great Britain at the time of research. The survey was conducted online between 24-28, September 2020. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size.

 

Notes

Data split by industry – percentage of those UK workers looking to leave the UK to work in another European country due to uncertainty around Brexit vs those looking to stay in the UK

Industry

Net % looking to leave UK for EU for work

Net % looking to stay in the UK

Manufacturing

15%

70%

Construction

21%

67%

Retail

25%

62%

Finance

22%

63%

Hospitality & leisure

23%

64%

Legal

18%

72%

IT & telecoms

31%

54%

Media, Marketing & Advertising

33%

53%

Medical & health services

14%

65%

Education

26%

69%

Transportation

15%

68%

Real estate

37%

37%

 

Media contact

For media enquiries, comment requests and more information please contact:
Laura Crichton at press@adecco.co.uk
www.adeccogroup.co.uk

The Adecco Group 

The Adecco Group is the world’s leading human capital solutions company. We believe in making the future work for everyone, and every day enable more than 3.5 million careers.

We skill, develop, and hire talent in 60 countries, enabling organisations to embrace the future of work. As a Fortune Global 500 company, we lead by example, creating shared value that fuels economies and builds better societies.

Our culture of inclusivity, entrepreneurship and teamwork empowers our 35,000 employees. We are proud to have been consistently ranked one of the ‘World’s Best Workplaces’ by Great Place to Work®.

The Adecco Group AG is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN). The Group is powered by three global business units: Adecco, Talent Solutions and Modis.

The Adecco Group UK and Ireland head office is located in London, UK.  Adecco Workforce Solutions includes Badenoch + Clark Public Sector, Adecco Retail, Adecco Specialist Markets, Adecco Solutions and Office Angels. Talent Solutions includes Badenoch + Clark Professional, General Assembly, Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) and Penna + Stafford Long. Modis includes Modis (Technology Solutions).