In news reports today, recruiter Randstad has spoken out on the UK government’s current ‘restrictive’ immigration policy and has stated that companies in the UK need to recruit 80,000 more accountants by 2050 to meet the needs of the rising population levels. It seems that current immigration laws have driven down the size of the industry’s qualified workforce. Randstad’s concerns come days after we reported that Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) submitted evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee that recent immigration changes to immigration policy made it difficult for recruiters to place skilled graduates and more experienced staff, into “flourishing” STEM fields such as engineering, IT and life sciences.
‘Tough’ UK Immigration Policy Driving Workforce Down
Randstad are of the opinion that, in order to support the predicted UK population, there needs to be 101,000 accountants in the UK if it were to meet the long term requirement of employing 156,000 accountants by 2050. Data analysis by Randstand now shows that this is unlikely to happen as there has been a 19% decrease in the number of qualified accountants. Statistics show that there are now just 76,000 qualified accountancy professionals in the UK compared to 94,000 in 2008.
Speaking on the figures, Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad stated:
“In a complex global economy, talented, ethical and committed professionals have never been more highly valued,” said Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad. The UK has shut the door on the skill-sets that the financial and professional services sectors need and a key part of people’s professional fulfilment– the opportunity to work abroad is starting to become a thing of the past.”
UK Visa Restrictions Causing Skills Shortage in UK
It seems that due to UK’s visa restrictions, UK finance professionals are increasingly attracted to opportunities that take them to emerging markets in Singapore and Shanghai, further draining the talent pool.
Data collated by Randstad show that membership of NZICA UK, the UK branch of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, has shrunk 12% over the last five years – from 2,304 in September 2008 to 2,023 in September 2013. There has also been a drop in the number of South African accountants working in the UK – from roughly 4,880 in 2013 to just 2,760.
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