Britain’s decision to leave Europe could potentially create more problems than in solves. Although there are still plenty of creases to be ironed out, one of the potential issues is how restraints on the freedom of movement will impact FMCG jobs.
Experts have warned that a migration crackdown will leave the country with a thin work force post Brexit. The fallout will ultimately impact the economy and put SME’s at risk, particularly fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG’s).
It is largely FMCG’s that are at risk of a labour shortage. Industries that rely on foreign nationals from Eastern Europe and further afield are already seeing an exodus of employees returning to their native countries.
A survey published by the Food & Drink Federation revealed that FMCG jobs in the farm-to-fork supply chain have already deteriorated. Respondents confirmed that 31% of the workforce have already left whilst a further 47% are considering leaving the UK because of the uncertainty over their future.
A further 17% of businesses are considering moving their headquarters overseas. Unilever, a company that manufactures quintessential British products, has already announced its intention to relocate to the Netherlands.
Post-Brexit Job Boom
Industry groups report it is becoming increasingly difficult for FMCG’s to attract low-skilled workers from Europe. However, a shortage of foreign labour in horticulture, construction, manufacturing, nursing and hospitality will create a dearth of FMCG job opportunities for homegrown employees.
This is good news for the UK’s unemployment figures. In December, the Office for National Statistics fuelled concerns when they reported unemployment figures among young people aged 24 and under had seen a sharp increase from 46,000 to 1.47m.
The Bank of England has subsequently warned of a sharp rise in inflation as the demand for workers grows and the “great pay squeeze” that still bears the remnants of the 2008 banking crisis squeezes the economy.
In order to survive a potential Exodus in the aftermath of Brexit, FMCG businesses will have to look for staff within the UK. One part of the solution is to turn to FMCG recruitment agencies that have access to thousands of ideal candidates.
Upskilling in FMCG jobs
Business leaders in FMCG industries such as drinks field sales jobs and category manager jobs are aware they cannot rely on workers from the EU to fill critical positions. Multinational firms are already refocusing their recruitment strategies and putting an emphasis on building skills through apprenticeships.
Thought leaders in the FMCG sector are also suggesting large firms should be looking to entice the best talent by offering solutions that plague the younger generations. For example, the majority of young people are priced out of the housing market and have to live with their parents. Tying in a starter mortgage or low rent accommodation provides employees and employers with a solution.
FMCG recruitment agencies specialising in on-trade jobs and off-trade jobs have a vital role to play as the mediator between job seekers and firms with FMCG jobs to offer across multiple sectors.
What do you think might happen once the UK leaves the EU in relation to the FMCG industry?
Let us know in the comments section.