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25 April 2017

Loss of EU workers risks skills gap for small firms

FSB has released new research showing over half of small businesses with EU workers are worried about accessing people with the right skills (59%), or growing their business (54%) post-Brexit. 

The report, ‘A skilful exit: What small firms want from Brexit’, shows one fifth (21%) of small employers currently have EU staff.

The research highlights the need for small firms to have continued access to labour and skills from the EU post-Brexit. FSB calls on the Government to guarantee, as soon as possible, the right to remain for EU citizens in the workforce. It also finds small firms, on average, want a transition period of more than three years after the UK exits the EU to meet their jobs needs.

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said:

“There is real concern among small firms with EU staff that they will lose access to the skills and labour their business needs to survive and grow. EU workers are a vital part of our economy, helping to plug chronic skills gaps across a wide range of sectors, and filling jobs in an already tight labour market. From packers, to mechanics, to graphic designers, small employers need to be able to hire the right person, for the right job at the right time."

Read the full press release and watch the short video below with FSB Policy Advisor Annie Peate.