More than a million expat workers in Britain – most of them from the European Union – are considering leaving the country over the next five years, according to a study published on Tuesday by Deloitte.The global accountancy and business advisory company found that 36 per cent of 3.4 million non-British workers currently in the UK are contemplating moving out of the country by 2022, with 26 per cent preparing to do so by 2020.
47 percent of highly-skilled EU workers contemplate leaving UK by 2020
Among highly qualified and skilled workers from EU countries, the proportion is even greater with 47 per cent contemplating relocating over the next five years. The survey – conducted before the government announced its plans on Monday to guarantee the right to remain of EU nationals living in the country for five years or more – found that a third of skilled workers would change their minds about leaving if they heard more positive statements on their status from the government.Yet the survey, ‘Power Up – The UK Workplace‘, which also questioned workers based outside Britain, found that the UK still rated as the most desirable place in the world for people seeking to work abroad.
UK employers face a potential skills shortage
But Deloitte added: “The UK could be faced with a potential skills shortage – high-skill workers are most mobile and, therefore, in the short term there is likely to be a greater pressure to fill these vacancies.”David Sproul, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte NW Europe, said: “Overseas workers, especially those from the EU, tell us they are more likely to leave the UK than before.”That points to a short-to-medium term skills deficit that can be met in part by upskilling our domestic workforce but which would also benefit from an immigration system that is attuned to the needs of the economy.”