A survey of 648 graduates at UK universities conducted by KPMG reveals that almost two thirds (62%) feel less confident about their career prospects because of Brexit.
The survey also reveals that three quarters of graduates (75%) believe Brexit means there will be fewer jobs available for their generation, half (48%) are less likely to want to work in the UK, and only four in 10 (41%) said Brexit had not affected their career plans.
Explaining the findings, Karen Briggs, Head of Brexit at KPMG said:
“Graduates are particularly exposed to the uncertainty Brexit brings. Our survey shows that just at the time when there might not be as many EU citizens around, fewer British graduates now want to work in the UK. This points to a shrinking traditional talent pool and a potential battle for the most employable people. I’d urge every business to rethink their workforce strategy by embracing programmes such as apprenticeships so they can recruit from the widest possible group. First movers will have the advantage.
“Done right, Brexit has the potential to stimulate a higher wage, higher tech economy. However we must remain cognisant that Brexit isn’t just affecting business investment decisions, it’s also changing people’s career plans.”
This report follows a separate survey commissioned by KPMG UK which shows how the EU workers most likely to leave the UK are the independent, in-demand, educated and young. It remains to be seen whether the commitments made in the recent joint agreement regarding citizens’ rights will change attitudes.
Explaining how graduates and employers can respond to Brexit, James Stewart, Vice Chair at KPMG UK said:
“Brexit is about to accelerate a number of changes in the UK jobs market. Those going to university should think very hard about the courses that will serve them best in a post-Brexit economy.
“At the same time retention is about to shoot up the business agenda in some industries. This means organisations need to go beyond traditional approaches to keeping their best staff, such as salary, bonus or benefits and take a good look at their culture, purpose, working environment and learning opportunities. Firms should also take a more positive approach to recruiting staff at different ages and sourcing staff from less conventional backgrounds.”
To address any potential skills gap KPMG encourages employers to:
How has Brexit affected your confidence in graduate career prospects post‐university?
What impact do you think Brexit will have on the job market for your generation compared to previous generations?
How has Brexit changed your perception of wanting to work in the UK?
How has Brexit affected your career plans? (multiple responses allowed)
Notes to editor:
For further information please contact:
Paul Middleton, KPMG Corporate Communications
T : (0) 20 7694 2180
M : 0738 725 7543
KPMG Press Office:
T : +44 (0) 207 694 8773
About the survey:
This survey was commissioned by KPMG. The questions were produced by KPMG’s Student Recruitment team along with KPMG’s Brexit team and High Fliers Research. The survey was open between August and December 2017. 585 UK nationals and 63 non UK nationals who had graduated in the summer of 2017 or are set to graduate between 2018 and 2020 responded. All participants came from the 30 universities where the UK Graduate Careers Survey is conducted.
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 14,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.2 billion in the year ended 30 September 2017. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 152 countries and has 189,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.