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50% of UK graduate employers will cut graduate recruitment if Britain leaves EU

Half of graduate employers in the UK will reduce their graduate intake if Britain votes to leave the EU, according to a survey of top UK graduate employers by PathMotion.


These firms are expected to hire 5,500 graduates in 2016, findings from PathMotion’s first study measuring the impact of Brexit on graduate hire have shown.


The research found that if the UK votes to leave the EU, the sectors most at risk of downsizing their graduate intake are banking & finance, retail, media, technology and law. These sectors, together with audit and professional services employ over 50,000 graduates per year.


The three main reasons cited for downsizing graduate hires under Brexit are (i) the impact of Brexit on the economy and therefore on the volume of business; (ii) general uncertainty; and (iii) a lower talent pool of EU graduates applying for jobs.


While some firms would increase the hiring of British graduates to compensate for fewer EU graduates, the majority reported they would either apply for work permits to maintain current levels of EU graduates or reduce operations in the UK to manage with fewer graduates. Some firms reported that hiring more Brits for jobs currently held by EU graduates could impact on overall quality.


Of the firms that reported they find employing EU graduates beneficial, key reasons cited include:


  • Languages and other skills to be able to cover global clients, for example for banks and law firms;
  • Specific job skills sets, for example in education and health; and
  • The need to be able to tap into a wider talent pool (cited across all sectors).


David Rivel, founder and CEO of PathMotion, said, “PathMotion presents the first study dedicated to assessing the impact of Brexit on UK-based graduates from the viewpoint of those that employ them. The concerns raised by graduates about the effect of a Brexit are now confirmed by employers, who predict a loss of graduate jobs in the UK. British graduates are not protected, despite some employers shifting from EU to British graduates. The survey also reveals that employers are worried at the prospect of losing access to the talent pool that they can already tap into.”


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