Employment group warn of ‘big gaps’ in NHS recruitment as EU workers leave

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Public services such as the NHS are facing “big gaps” in recruitment as they struggle to replace EU workers who are leaving the UK, a new study suggests.

Employment group Manpower said that with 100,000 unfilled posts in the health service, workers such as qualified nurses can be placed in a job “almost immediately”.

Skilled health workers are in big demand, with Brexit playing a part in the growing shortage of staff, said Manpower.

EU workers have “simply left the UK”, and the trend is continuing, said the report, based on a survey of over 2,000 public and private sector employers.

The outlook for employment in private firms is the weakest in seven years amid the continued uncertainty over Brexit, said Manpower.

Managing director Mark Cahill said: “Looking at the public sector, it’s not just the NHS that is facing huge shortages. We have seen the Government launch a campaign to fill 110,000 vacancies in the adult social care sector while the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is now the largest it has been in the last decade as it has recruited to prepare for Brexit, and we forecast that civil service hiring is set to continue apace through the summer.”

Private companies are exercising caution on the jobs front as they wait and see what happens with Brexit after the summer, said Mr Cahill.

He added: “In the run up to March 29, companies were taking on staff as manufacturers increased production and ports dealt with high volumes of goods.

“Back then, ports ramped up their capability, bringing in staff to build new bridges, investing in new tractor units and trailer parking facilities to minimise the likely disruption caused by Brexit.

“With that infrastructure now in place, it is inevitable that this hiring pace could not be sustained, and businesses in the South East of England are now planning to cut back on taking on new employees.”

Employers in the Midlands and London were more positive about the employment outlook, the report added.

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