A British exit from the European Union would risk worsening an already acute shortage of skilled, qualified candidates for jobs in Yorkshire, a leading recruitment firm has warned.
In a report published today, Manpower says that Britain leaving the EU would “reduce the flexibility of the UK workforce, with companies less able to attract talent from abroad.”
After publishing a survey of 2,100 UK employers, it says there are more employers in the region planning to increase headcount than those expecting to cut jobs, but that they could be held back by a “a rapidly worsening skills shortage”.
The firm highlighted the case of Morley-based NewDay, one of the largest issuers of credit cards in the UK, which needs hundreds of new employees to meet rising demand but faces a “real challenge” in finding the right people for the jobs.
James Hick, managing director of Manpower, said a reduced ability to recruit from abroad would hit hardest in areas like Leeds and Hull, which have smaller catchment areas for potential employees than in Greater London.
Mr Hicks said: “While many employers in the South can rely on a steady supply of workers, there are far fewer qualified candidates in the North.”
He added: “George Osborne may dream of a Northern Powerhouse, but the reality will be a Northern power cut if we don’t see more talent coming into the market.”