British Chamber of Commerce: Brexit deal “won’t be worth the paper it’s written on” unless UK firms can recruit staff

What the BCC says

A recent report from the BCC revealed that 86% of UK manufacturing firms, and close to 60% of service companies are looking to expand, but are struggling to find the right people. A squeeze that may potentially damage the economy. And with the potential shock of mass losses to UK industry post-Brexit, the business group has stated that the deal “won’t be worth the paper it’s written on” unless British businesses can recruit staff with the right skills.

In the wake of the General Election, a great deal of rhetoric is being touted concerning Brexit, and what this could mean to the UK jobs market. However, the BCC has made fervent assertions that, “the next government must deliver a bold and clear strategy to support economic growth across all regions and nations of the UK.”

The statement from the BCC asserts that action is required on a range of fronts domestically; improving the UK’s business environment, upgrading physical and digital infrastructure across the country, and supporting grassroots growth.

What needs to be done

Further clarifying what it expects from the next term, the BCC has said it will judge the next government on 5 key criteria:

-Delivery of a competitive business environment that strives to improve the skill sets of tomorrow’s workforce, and reduce upfront costs.

-Support for local business growth from tip to tail, and a nuanced plan for dealing with potential devolution in the UK.

-Improvements made to both the UK’s physical and digital infrastructure, ensuring that everyone has access to super-fast broadband and better mobile connectivity.

-Support for UK exporters to drive economic growth by expanding trade programmes, firming up current Free Trade Agreements, and constructing future trade policy alongside businesses.

-The protection of the status of EU nationals living in the UK, developing future customs procedures in partnership with businesses, and creating a future UK immigration system that is sympathetic and responsive to future economic needs.

-To refocus on Brexit for just a second, it is of paramount importance that the deal concerning migrant workers from the EU, takes into consideration the potential for skills shortages at all levels when migration is curbed.

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, added: “Businesses continue to report recruitment difficulties, and while we’d like to see greater investment in training across the board, without access to a sufficient talent pool, companies are restricted in their development ambitions.”

“The key to a successful Brexit – and future economic growth – is to do everything to unlock the growth potential in our towns, cities and counties. Implementing an Industrial Strategy which harnesses the power of local areas should be a priority for the new government, alongside a commitment to secure the appropriate support and funding for its implementation.”

Sentiments I feel we all echo.

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