A new study from SumTotal Systems, a global leader in learning and talent development solutions, has found significant concern around recruitment challenges, talent management and increasing skills shortages in the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.     
The study, carried out in February 2019 at Learning Technologies 2019, found that the majority (74 percent) of the 150 participating Learning & Development (L&D) professionals are concerned they will struggle to meet their organisation’s skills demand post-Brexit, with more than half (53 percent) anticipating new recruitment challenges after the UK leaves the European Union (EU).
Key highlights include:
  • Almost half (44 percent) of the L&D professionals surveyed stated their organisation has experienced greater difficulty with recruitment since the UK voted to leave the EU
  • Additionally, 65 percent believe Brexit will have an impact on their organisation’s ability to hire the best talent
  • 42 percent stated that Brexit uncertainty has forced their organisation to adapt its recruitment processes, with 26 percent delaying hiring decisions until after the UK leaves the EU
  • A clear majority (66 percent) of L&D professionals believe Brexit will have a negative impact on talent management
  • Yet, just 12 percent of organisations have a full contingency plan in place for a post-Brexit skills shortage 
The study also highlighted particular concern around digital skills. More than three quarters (76 percent) of professionals stated they believe Brexit will impact the already increasing digital skills gap, with more than half (56 percent) placing more focus on workforce planning and development since the UK voted to leave the EU. 
Liam Butler, Area Vice President at SumTotal, commented on the results, saying: “It’s only one month until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU and while it is not yet clear if there will be a deal in place by the 29th March, it is clear there is a huge amount of concern from those that will be responsible for recruitment and talent management in a post-Brexit world. These results show an industry apprehensive about what Brexit will mean from a skills and recruitment perspective, but businesses need to see this as an opportunity to refocus their efforts on workforce succession planning, upskilling current employees and ensuring a strong talent management programme is in place.”