Confidence high in the West Midlands in face of Brexit uncertainty

Confidence high in the West Midlands in face of Brexit uncertainty


The confidence of workers across the West Midlands has not been shaken by uncertainty around leaving the European Union, with 45 per cent admitting that they are looking for a new job this year, according to REED.

The YouGov research commissioned by specialist recruiter REED, which asked more than 2,000 people about their careers in 2017, found that 44 per cent of employees are feeling optimistic about their career prospects despite a lack of clarity created by the Brexit vote.

Optimism and confidence are high among employers too, as 53 per cent of those surveyed in the West Midlands said they had been given a pay rise in 2016, compared to just 37 per cent who were asked the same question in a previous REED survey from 2015.

While an increase in salary is still the primary motivation for workers in the West Midlands to look for a new job (45 per cent), other reasons were also revealed.28 per cent would move for an improved work-life balance and a third (33 per cent) for a better working environment. And pensions have a major impact on attracting and retaining workers with 55 per cent of people across the UK saying a pension plan is an important part of the decision to either stay in their current role or look around.

The research, commissioned to mark the launch of the REED 2017 Salary Guide, also discovered that those in senior positions have noticed a widening skills gaps among their staff. Almost half (47 per cent) of those in management, and 54 per cent in supervisor positions, now recognise a lack of skills within their organisation. This is in comparison to 42 per cent of managers and 45 per cent of supervisors1 who observed the same trend in previous research commissioned by REED last year.

Claire Harvey, Senior Divisional Director of REED in the North, said: “UK workers and businesses are confident that 2017 will be a great year for them and those in the Northern half of the country are no different. The jobs market always proves to be a good barometer for the economy and we believe this promising early indication is a sign of things to come. This research for 2017 shows that workers are confident to look for a new job despite the wider backdrop of leaving the EU.”

Among the next generation of workers, more than half (51 per cent) of those between the ages of 18 and 24  would move to have more opportunities to learn and develop their skills, 49 per cent for better career prospects and 45 per cent for a better company culture. More than half (61 per cent) of 18-24 year olds would still move for a better salary.

Harvey added: “Along with marketing and creative, digital has been a particular growth area in 2016 as more clients realise their online presence really needs to stand out in order to attract business. Job satisfaction is incredibly important and often when an employee outgrows their role, they will need to leave to continue to get job satisfaction. As such, a company that is unable to offer longer-term challenges may suffer with higher turnover.  If employers can offer young, talented workers the opportunity to learn and help this eager generation hone their skills, then companies will attract the right talent; continuing this trend of optimism into a post-Brexit world.”

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