Research reveals employers will look to Eastern Europe to ease UK skills crisis

Managers will look to Eastern European workers to soothe the UK skills crisis, new research has found.

A quarter of human resources managers interviewed by research company Ipsos MORI said that workers from Eastern Europe will be the best source of foreign talent for UK companies as the skills crisis develops.

Migrant workers from Eastern Europe will be particularly important in the manufacturing sector, the survey of 200 managers revealed.

Zach Miles, CEO of recruitment company Vedior, who commissioned the research, said: “It is encouraging that UK employers are taking an open approach to the immigration of skilled workers.

“This will put the UK economy at an advantage over the many continental countries that also face severe skills crises, but that have far less positive approaches to immigration and less flexible labour markets.”

Eastern Europe is way ahead of the second and third most important sources of skills as seen by managers, with France and Germany reaching 9% and 8% respectively. In contrast, North America, India and the Far East are seen as being far less important sources of talent.

The report also found:

  • 38% of HR managers expect the skills crisis to get worse in the next few years
  • 40% of organisations say it is very likely they will have to raise salaries to attract and retain the right people
  • 63% of HR professionals said government policy had no impact on their search for skills
  • 25% of HR managers said that government policy is a hindrance due to employment-related bureaucracy
  • 39% of HR professionals said companies are expected to invest in training

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