Post-Brexit, the UK witnessed shortages in the workforce from time to time. The employment growth particularly slowed down in 2019 as an aftermath of Brexit. However, according to data from agencies like the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the labour market remains promising and there are a number of open vacancies. Interestingly, to retain and encourage talent from all over the world to work in the UK, 59% of private-sector employers have raised salaries to offset their recruitment difficulties. Many of the beneficiaries of the increase in salaries are Asians who work and live in the UK. Besides, this surge in salaries has the potential of attracting the best talent of the world to the UK. The post-Brexit situation is also making companies invest in training of their employees, additionally, companies are seeking to recruit from different ethnic and regional backgrounds as EU workers no longer enjoy special privileges. This has led to more employment of domestic and non-EU workers in the UK. In the coming year, it is highly likely that the workforce in the UK would be more diverse, as compared to the pre-Brexit levels.
In addition, UK employers have remained optimistic about the Graduate Route visas. These visas have opened new resources for employers as they can now employ highly skilled workers trained in the UK more easily and fill in the already existing gaps, especially in the fields of engineering, STEM subjects, and Information Technology (IT). Organizations are also being encouraged to hire a diverse workforce which is expected to have a positive impact on innovation and creativity with the assimilation of different perspectives. Moreover, international graduates are also understood to be a means to develop links for the UK with important trading partners, like the US, China, and India.
Nevertheless, trade is expected to be negatively hit by Brexit, at least in the short run. The transition period permitted the trade between the UK and the EU to remain unaffected until January 1, 2021. UK goods exports to the EU are believed to have fallen to more than 15 percent since Brexit. According to the Centre for European Reform, since the end of the transition period, the UK goods trade has reduced by 15.8 percent as of August 2021. Owing to the disturbances, delayed deliveries, higher prices have been widely prevalent. Moreover, gas stations and supermarkets have periodically remained empty. According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2021 one in six adults in Great Britain experienced shortages of food items. In October 2021, shortages sparked a fuel crisis, affecting 37% of the population.
Consequently, the need to reorganise supply chains has been felt across the country as the changed tariffs, and higher trade barriers have caused disruptions. Nevertheless, this has opened opportunities for the rest of the world, as countries in Europe are receiving no special exemptions now. Renewed interest to trade with the UK is noticeable in countries like India and China, while as a result of Brexit the UK is also considering diversifying its supply chains and workforce.
The exact and long-term impact of Brexit still remains to be studied and will probably take years to be correctly assessed. All in all, it can be said that Brexit has proved to be a mixed bag– with the end of privileges for Europe and opening of opportunities for non-EU countries.