The number of European workers seeking jobs in the UK has fallen dramatically since the Brexit vote last June, with applications from some member state workforces down more than 40 per cent.
Research by job search website CV-Library found that overall traffic from the continental European Union has fallen 4.3 per cent in the past 12 months.
The most significant drops over the last 12 months have come from Belgium (48.2 per cent), Slovenia (27.9 per cent) and the Netherlands (22.7 per cent). Compared to 2015 job searches, Slovenia led, with applications down 40.2 per cent.
Eastern Europe showed the most significant changes in applications, with Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria also amongst the countries that had experienced a sharp drop.
Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library, said,
"Our data brings to light the concerns amongst EU workers around Brexit, with those living in other European countries clearly pulling back the reigns on their UK job applications. Despite a lack of clarification on what is actually going to happen, Brexit appears to have understandably made foreign staff think twice about coming to the country and this is sparking fears amongst businesses.
"...We do not have enough talent in the UK to meet demand right now and this is putting pressure on organisations to think more strategically about overcoming their recruitment challenges. This could mean a range of options: from being more creative with their job adverts and where they post them, to looking for people that have experience in different industries and honing in on school leavers and graduates."
CV-Library did track some countries increasing their applications, including Latvia (26.3 per cent), Finland (9.6 per cent) and Cyprus (nine per cent). Without more accurate numbers it is impossible to judge whether this will lead to a net gain or fall, although Biggins was not optimistic:
"Key industries within the UK are heavily reliant on migrant workers in order to keep up production and maintain productivity levels, so it's concerning to see such a dip in traffic across the board. That said, it's clear that not all countries are feeling affected, with the likes of Latvia, Cyprus, Finland, Spain and Malta all increasing their traffic to our site in the past year. There is a great amount of uncertainty around keeping the talent pipeline full but these findings do provide some reassurance that the appetite is still there for some."
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