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Confidence high among UK workers in face of Brexit uncertainty

UK workers’ confidence has not been shaken by uncertainty around leaving the European Union, with 48 per cent admitting that they will be looking for a new job, according to REED.

  • Almost half (48 per cent) of UK workers preparing to look for a new job
  • More workers received a pay rise in 2016 (54 per cent) than in the REED market Insight 2015 (41 per cent)
  • 38 per cent would move for a better work-life balance 
  • 51 per cent look for a new job to improve their skills

UK workers’ confidence has not been shaken by uncertainty around leaving the European Union, with 48 per cent admitting that they will be looking for a new job, 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 43 per cent of employees are feeling optimistic about their career prospects, despite uncertainty created by the Brexit vote.

Business confidence is also high with 53 per cent of UK workers receiving a pay rise from their employer, compared to 41 per cent found in the REED Market Insight 2015 – an increase equating to almost an eighth or an estimated four million UK workers according to recent ONS employment stats. 

While an increase in salary is still the primary motivation for people to look for a new job (51 per cent), other reasons were also revealed. Almost 38 per cent (four in 10) would/ have move(d) for a better work-life balance and 33 per cent, a third, for a better working environment. Furthermore, pensions have a major impact on attracting and retaining workers, 55 per cent of those who enjoy a comfortable pension saying they will stay put. This is a strong indication that businesses will need to look towards offering longer-term, bespoke packages to attract and retain the top talent. 

This research, commissioned to mark the launch of the REED 2017 Salary Guide, also discovered that Senior Managers have noticed a widening skills gap. 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. 

Tom Lovell, UK managing director at specialist recruiter REED, said: “The jobs market always proves to be a good barometer for the economy and we believe this research demonstrates improving confidence amongst both workers and employers. Whilst workers are increasingly willing to move to help achieve career aspirations, employees are also willing to invest in relocation. Increasing skills shortages mean that in 2017 the war for talent is back on with great rewards for those who can successfully negotiate the opportunities available.”

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.

Tom added: “As technology changes roles and creates new jobs with new skills, gaps in the market are opening and new opportunities created. The next generation is looking to the future to train and keep pace with these exciting changes. From our close work with candidates, we believe that 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.”

For more information on the REED salary guides 2017 and to find out how much you are worth please visit www.reedglobal.com/salarycalculator.