London highly dependent on EU workers
30 Jun 2017
European Union (EU) nationals make up 17 per cent of the workforce in London, according to research published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and the Migration Policy Institute.
The analysis of how the 2.2 million EU nationals currently participating in the UK labour market contribute by sector and region, highlights the vulnerability of the capital to restrictions on immigration post-Brexit.
The financial and business service sector is the largest employer of EU nationals in the capital with over 191,000 employees, or 16 per cent of the workforce.
The construction sector is the most exposed, with a third of its workers (33 per cent) being from the EU. This is closely followed by the retail and hospitality sectors, with a fifth (21 per cent) of its workforce being from the EU.
Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the REC, which has outlined 21 recommendations to government based on these findings, says: “Decisions about the future immigration system are too important to be subject to political whim - we need policy to be built on sound evidence and data. This report is a significant contribution to the critical debate on immigration. It shows that businesses need access to people to deliver growth, and that the current UK workforce alone cannot meet demand.
“Designing the post-Brexit immigration system is an enormous task and it cannot happen only in Whitehall. Recruiters are on the frontline of the labour market, and we are ready to work with the government to design and deliver policies that will help the country prosper.”
Beavis Morgan – specialist advisers to UK’s SMEs
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