Brexit: retaining talent through change

Bevan S, Lucy D |   | Adecco Group | Nov 2018

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This paper explores the options open to employers in responding to potential talent shortages as a consequence of Brexit. IES' principal research fellow, Dan Lucy, also considers the potential role of automation and how this may both boost productivity and improve working conditions if implemented in a way that supports the conditions for 'good work'.

Produced on behalf of Adecco Group, the paper draws on international case studies from Singapore and Hong Kong to explore the options available to employers in the UK to address the talent challenge posed by Brexit. Beyond outlining key principles in reaching potentially untapped sources of talent, and making better use of existing workforces, one key aspect of the paper is its consideration of the use of technology to mitigate labour shortages.

It considers both the feasibility of using technology to enable higher-quality work, and offers guidance on how this might work in practice. Challenges exist, from costs and fears of technology becoming out-of-date, to workforce readiness and consumer preferences. Nonetheless, the paper states that correctly- and thoughtfully-implemented technology has the potential to automate routine tasks, and free-up employees to focus on more-engaging work, increasing productivity and employee satisfaction.