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Bristol business bullish post-Brexit

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Written by: David Clensy | Posted 05 December 2016 21:30

Bristol business bullish post-Brexit

Businesses in the Bristol region have retained a bullish economic outlook following the EU referendum, with 97 per cent of organisations expecting business activity to either remain the same or increase in the coming year, according to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2017 guide.

The research, compiled by recruiter Hays, includes a survey of more than 360 employers and employees in Bristol taken from before June’s referendum, as well as a snap poll of more than 200 employers and employees collected from across the South West in September.

The guide found that while employers feel relatively reassured, this confidence is not shared by employees and over two thirds (69 per cent) plan to leave their job within the year. In the results gathered before June, 51 per cent of all employees felt there was no scope for career progression with their current organisation, rising to 65 per cent after the referendum.

As a result more than a quarter (30 per cent) cited lack of future prospects as the top reason for wanting to quit followed by salary and it is becoming clear that negative sentiment among staff and the resulting mass departures could threaten economic productivity as the UK heads towards an EU exit.

With the majority of employees expecting to depart and talent shortages apparent, pressure will only increase on employers looking to hire and retain staff as they navigate through prolonged Brexit negotiations and look to build their teams to enable long term growth.

This is putting pressure on professional salaries in the South West which increased on average by 2.3 per cent in 2016, above the UK average of 1.8 per cent. Those working in accountancy, marketing and office support roles saw higher increases than the regional average as demand for these skills intensifies in the region.

Although almost two thirds (67 per cent) of employers in Bristol expect to make further increases this year, only a third of these (34 per cent) plan to raise pay by more than 2.5 per cent.

With more than half (58 per cent) of employees in Bristol dissatisfied with pay and around a quarter (24 per cent) intending to quit this year because of it, employers are expected to come under intense pressure to raise pay further and provide clearer paths of progression in order to retain and attract the talent able to meet post-referendum business challenges.

Simon Winfield, regional managing director for Hays in the South West said: “We are pleased to see that despite the overall market uncertainty, the majority of businesses in the South West actually expect their activity to increase in the next 12 months. However this confidence has not been conveyed to the wider workforce, as employees are uncertain about the impact on their career prospects and planning to leave their jobs as a result.

“Salary increases in the South West have been among the highest in the UK and with employee dissatisfaction growing employers are expected to come under intense pressure to raise pay further and provide clear career paths in order to retain and attract the talent needed to meet the demands of post-referendum business challenges.”


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