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Businesses across a range of sectors are dealing with recruitment challenges as a result of the new EU Exit rules around employment of staff from overseas.
In this article, we will be highlighting some of the main barriers to recruitment, the opportunities and the key solutions that should be of use to your business.

Barriers to recruitment

Whilst many sectors have felt the challenges of recruiting from overseas, the service sector has been heavily impacted, especially paired with the global pandemic. Businesses are low on front of house staff and finding that those who moved jobs due to the pandemic are not returning as other sectors are able to provide a better work / life balance.

Visas have become a legal requirement, however these only last 90-days, causing issues if work contracts are on a permanent or long term, contractual basis. There are a number of different types of visas that employers and employees alike need to be aware of, to understand which is best suited for the type of employment. More information on work visas can be found here.

However, there is a Common Travel Area agreement between UK and Republic of Ireland. Irish and UK citizens have the right to live, travel, work and study within the Common Travel Area. To find out more common travel areas, click here.

Employers will also need to acquire a sponsor license to be able to employ someone from outside of the UK, including graduates. Businesses are finding sponsorship is an unaffordable expense, restricting the talent they are able to acquire for their business. Find out more about UK visa sponsorships.

New opportunities

Whilst business leaders have been busy overcoming the initial challenges of the EU Exit, it will have been difficult to see that with such challenges, are a new wave of opportunities.

UK businesses should be working closely with the education sector to support with the uptake of new talent. With five universities in Liverpool alone, it is crucial that businesses familiarise themselves with local graduate and college leaver programmes and employment schemes. Similarly, there is a huge opportunity for businesses willing to take part in apprenticeships to ensure that they are part of a wider initiative to nurture young talent through and onto the employment ladder. For more guidance on how your business can take part in apprenticeships, contact Be More’s Skills Brokers.

Employers could also work more closely with other non-competing industries to redistribute talent once a working period has expired. Not only will this shorten the time needed to recruit and find replacement talent, it also means more consistency for employees knowing where and when their next position will be.

Whilst considered costly, the long-term benefits of reinvesting into a business’s current workforce far outweigh the reservations business leaders have when it comes to a low ROI. Often by upskilling staff, business leaders see higher employee retention rates and in doing so, an improvement of overall business operations. Business leaders will also likely see a happier, more engaged workforce and therefore an improvement in productivity.

Ultimately, the ways in which businesses will recruit will change based on how people want to work, especially given the past 15 months of almost complete remote working for a lot of businesses. Organisations from all sectors will need to reshape themselves in the next 12-18 months to not only make themselves more appealing to employees, but for customers too.


Whilst a long-term view is important to have, dealing with the immediate is of great concern to businesses which is why there are a number of schemes and services available to help businesses overcome the current challenges of recruitment.

Skills Brokerage Service: Be More’s team of expert Skills Brokers provide free impartial advice and will work with you to really understand your skills needs. Our Skills Brokers are fully aware of the range of funding available for skills across the city region, and can support you to find, and applying for, funding. They can also support you to make the most of current apprenticeship funding, including current incentive payments from Government of up to £4,000 per apprentice.

For further EU Exit advice, visit Growth Platform’s Post EU Transition Support Service. You can also get in touch with the team by emailing