Hello and welcome to March
It might be chilly still but St. David’s Day on 1st March, marked the official start of spring. Isn’t it typical that we’d had lovely sunny days until then when it started to rain and snow? Although, we’re already getting longer days and daffodils are making an appearance.
It seems everyone is perking up with the optimism that spring brings. Although this year it also brings the countdown to the much debated EU referendum.
I know the result of the referendum will significantly impact the British business landscape, but I’ll be honest, until last week I wasn’t 'up' on all the ‘ins and outs’.
I am happy to be open about my recent ignorance; after asking around the office and speaking with family and friends, I realised it wasn’t just me in this situation. There does seem to be a real knowledge gap around this subject and this could pose a real threat to the future of our economy.
So, having done my research, I plan to educate my team. If you know all about it, how it will impact you and how you are going to vote, fantastic – but are your team and the people around you in the same position?
I have dedicated this month’s blog post to the EU referendum. Let’s all help to make sure everyone registered to vote, knows the basics and has considered the impact for them.
As I started writing I realised that this blog had got far too long, so I have split out the information. Here is my post on what is the EU referendum all about? This is worth a read if you or your colleagues need to get the basics and the background information.
What I want to concentrate on in this post, are the questions the referendum raises about the jobs market – an issue close to my heart.
The next few months, in the lead up to the EU referendum, or ‘Brexit’ as it has been dubbed in the press, the news is likely to be dominated by competing claims about how many millions of jobs will be lost or gained if Britain exit.
Leave campaigners think there would be a jobs boom if we leave the EU. Based on firms being free from EU regulations and red tape. They think small and medium sized companies, who don't trade outside the UK, will benefit the most.
However, remain campaigners think that millions of jobs would be lost because global manufacturers would move their operations out of the UK to lower cost EU countries. They predict that UK car manufacturing would be the most at risk of leaving the UK.
The British Chambers of Commerce have gone public that in 2015, 63% of its members believed that withdrawal from the EU would be negative for Britain's economic and business prospects.
Similairly, APSco, conducted a survey in 2015 of its members and 70% said that an exit would negatively impact Britain because of the lost mobility of labour.
Tremayne Elson, Managing Director of APSco Germany said “Most of our members in the UK and in Germany are involved in international recruitment markets and recruit candidates across borders in the EU. We are also doing transactions and invoicing across borders. If the UK would leave the EU, it would impact the British involvement in other markets. Now, it wouldn’t stop it, but it would make it more challenging.”
We have been in a candidate driven recruitment market for some time, so we know that there is a shortfall of talent in the markets that we are recruiting across; marketing, sales, accounts, finance, office, HR. How would this be impacted if we opt out of the EU? You would imagine it would only get worse once the full changes were implemented.
The main questions we all need to ask ourselves in the run up to the referendum, has been summarised by the REC as being:
- What would a ‘Brexit’ mean for your business?
- How would your clients be affected?
- How would your suppliers be affected?
- How can you engage your team in the run-up to the referendum?
- What specific EU reforms would make a positive difference to you?
- What would be the impact if free movement of workers (both in and out of the UK) was restricted?
- Would leaving the EU hinder access to key skills and talent?
Think as well about your network. Who do you know socially or through business who you might not know if we’d not been involved in the EU. How will they be impacted by the result of the vote?
The result could be more significant to UK businesses than any general election. It’s hugely important that we all consider the impact and the pros and cons.
Whatever the outcome on Thursday 23rd June, it is crucial that we all exercise our right to vote and have our say.
I hope that I have triggered even one conversation about this topic in your office or your home today.
Some great places to keep up with the latest news on the referendum are:
Wishing you all a lovely, and informed March with lots of chat and decision forming about Brexit.