Over half of small businesses employing workers from the EU are concerned that Brexit may hinder their recruitment of skilled staff, a report published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has suggested.
59% of businesses surveyed reported that they are worried that they could lose access to individuals with the ‘right skills’, while 54% of firms are concerned about growing their business post-Brexit.
According to the FSB’s report, 21% of small businesses currently employ EU workers. The report also found that small firms with EU workers ‘mainly employ mid-skilled staff’, such as care and construction workers, mechanics and office managers.
The FSB has stated that securing the right to remain in the UK for EU workers ‘must be a priority’.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: ‘There is a real concern among small firms with EU staff that they will lose access to the skills and labour their business needs to survive and grow. EU workers are a vital part of our economy, helping to plug chronic skills gaps across a wide range of sectors, and filling jobs in an already tight labour market.’