Global travel recruitment firm Progressive Personnel reported a ‘dramatic drop’ in European Union nationals coming to work in the UK following the referendum result.
The statistics were announced on October 5, 100 days after Britain voted to leave the EU.
The company’s managing director James Roberts said: “Our statistics from January to June indicate that 49% of our placements in the UK were filled by British nationals, the rest by EU nationals.
“The picture from July to now, however, shows a dramatic drop. Some 74% of our placements in the UK were filled by British nationals versus only 26% by EU nationals.
“The UK travel industry is dependent on EU nationals, especially in terms of their language skills. I spoke to a manager at a large inbound tour operator in London last week, herself an EU national, and she said only 14% of her team were UK nationals, the remaining 86% from EU countries.”
Although Roberts does not believe that EU nationals already working in the UK will be asked to leave, he is concerned that the government will stop free movement to the UK.
“This will mean our talent pool will shrink and we won’t have the language skills required by most travel companies, which would mean we would have to give renewed focus to language development in school curricula,” he said.
Roberts says this will result in a skills shortage, raising the amount that employers will be forced to pay those who have the required skills and a willingness by UK travel employers to train non-travel candidates.