A drop in the number of migrants coming to the UK is giving companies a recruitment headache, according to new findings.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which represents HR professionals, says there is a shortage of workers from inside and outside the EU.
Vacancies are becoming increasingly more difficult to fill, forcing employers to push up pay rates, a CIPD study of 1000 firms has found.
The CIPD says the trend reflects the reduced attraction of the UK as a destination to find work, due mainly to Brexit.
Latest figures show that there was a fall of 58,000 in workers from outside the UK between April and June last year, 18,000 of them EU nationals.
There was a rise of more than 260,000 for the same three-month period in 2016.
This comes as companies are in the grip of a worsening shortage of labour and specific skills as the number of vacancies rises.
The CIPD’s Gerwyn Davies says their data shows “the pendulum has swung away from the UK as an attractive place to live and work for non-UK-born citizens, especially non-EU citizens.”
He said it highlights the risk that non-UK citizens and employers will be discouraged from coming to post-Brexit Britain if doing so is not made “simpler, fairer and more affordable.”
The CIPD predicts that labour availability in the UK will worsen from 2021 when immigration controls on EU citizens comes into force, particularly for low-skilled workers.
It says firms are concerned that proposals from the Government Migration Advisory Committee to fill low-skilled vacancies with EU citizens will not meet their needs.
The points-based system for non-EU immigrants is due to be applied to EU citizens from 2021, but a third of employers say it already carries too much red tape, says the CIPD.