Brexit: 70 Percent Of Tech Workers Consider Leaving UK

More than two-thirds of technology workers are considering leaving the UK in the wake of its exit from the European Union, according to survey results that highlight the uncertainty for the country’s tech sector caused by last year’s referendum result.

A survey of 200 people by job search marketplace Hired found 70 percent of tech workers were considering departing Britain, and are first of all considering other European cities, followed by locations in North America and Australia.

Brexit fears

The company studied data from its marketplace, which has more than 20,000 job candidates and 850 clients in the UK, monitoring how active foreign candidates were on the platform and how clients interacted with them, and carrying out a survey of 200 UK-based candidates.

Hired found the number of foreign candidates overall had dropped by 60 percent compared to pre-referendum numbers, while UK companies sending offers to such candidates fell from 25 percent at the beginning of 2016 to 18 percent a year later.

The number of candidates from outside the UK willing to accept job offers for UK tech roles has dropped by 20 percent since the referendum, Hired found.

Seventy-one percent of British tech job seekers said the UK’s exit from the EU would damage its technology industry, and they listed Brexit as their biggest overall concern, ahead of happiness at work, personal development and salary.

Brain drain

Seventy-seven percent said they think there will still be uncertainty a year from now and 31 percent expect it to be more difficult to find employment in the next 12 months.

Forty-one percent said they were less likely to start a business in the UK as a result of the referendum, while 85 percent said restricting the movement of EU workers in the UK would have a negative effect on the UK’s business prospects.

The results indicate companies and workers are exercising caution because they don’t know what their legal status will be after Britain leaves the EU, said Hired chief executive Mehul Patel.

“As the UK looks to map out a more definitive plan to leave the EU and things like skilled worker visas come into sharper focus, it will give both sides a better understanding of the rules of engagement,” he said.

Why not test your knowledge of European tech pioneers and the EU’s contribution to the industry?Try our quiz!

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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