ALMOST one half of highly skilled EU workers are considering leaving the UK, according to new research.
A study into the effects of Brexit by Deloitte found 47% of highly skilled workers from the EU were considering leaving the UK in the next five years.
In a report released today, the financial consulting giant warns of serious implications for employers.
It says there will now be pressure on ministers to come up with sensible immigration plans and to find ways to improve the skills of UK workers while making better use of robots in the workplace.
In total, some 36% of non-British workers in the UK said they were thinking of leaving within the same period, representing 1.2m jobs out of 3.4 million migrant workers in the UK.
Some 26% said they were considering leaving within three years.
It comes after EU applications to be a nurse in the UK fell by 96% since the referendum last June.
The reasons for leaving the UK centre around the country’s uncertain economic outlook.
Deloitte surveyed 2,242 EU and non-EU workers.
Half were living in the UK and half were living outside.
They assessed their views on what makes Britain attractive and how likely they would be to come or leave.
The survey, taken before the recent general election, found the UK was still an attractive place to work for foreign residents, but the referendum had shifted perceptions of the many already living there.
But 48% of workers already in Britain said they saw the country as being a little or significantly less attractive as a result of Brexit.
Only 21% of workers outside the UK shared that view.
“The UK’s cultural diversity, employment opportunities and quality of life are assets that continue to attract the world’s best and brightest people,” said David Sproul, chief executive of Deloitte north-west Europe.
“But overseas workers, especially those from the EU, tell us they are more likely to leave the UK than before. That points to a short- to medium-term skills deficit that can be met in part by upskilling our domestic workforce but which would also benefit from an immigration system that is attuned to the needs of the economy.”