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UK employers look abroad to address talent shortage


Talent shortages are forcing UK employers to recruit foreign workers, research has shown.

The global survey of almost 30,000 workers and 28,000 employers, carried out by employment services firm Manpower, found that 20% of employers are looking overseas for talent to address the skills shortage; whilst 53% of UK workers have admitted they would consider moving abroad for work.

The findings also revealed that the UK is the second most popular destination for global workers, with the US taking first place; and is the first most popular destination for EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) workers.

“The UK has a widely recognised skills shortage which many employers are struggling with,” said Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower UK. “By being open-minded about how this can be addressed – including looking to overseas talent – many employers are able to meet these challenges. As pressures from an ageing workforce and low birth-rate grow, these shortages will become more apparent.”

In terms of roles that are being filled by foreign labour, top of the list is labourers, followed by chefs/cooks, skilled trades, PAs, accounting & finance, customer service, and doctors and nurses.

Cahill added: “Workers coming to the UK cover a wide spectrum of roles from highly skilled positions such as medical doctors and accountants to manual trades and labourers. What is consistent is that these people are motivated to work and are able to address skills shortages.”

The research also found that Poland, India and Latvia were the top three countries of origin for foreign workers.

In related news, click here to read about how the government is naming and shaming UK businesses that have employed individuals not entitled to work in the UK.

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