Stockpiling has led to lack of workers

The national shortage of workers is being exacerbated as companies over-produce due to ‘no-deal’ Brexit fears.

Berry Recruitment Group (BRG) says stockpiling in the last 12 months has led to more available work, especially in temporary positions.

While this is good news for those seeking employment it has added to the scarcity of able candidates, potentially impacting upon the economy.

Manufacturers particularly upped production as the prospect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit increased and raised questions over their ability to source materials through their existing supply chains.

BRG, which works from almost 40 locations across England and Wales, said the situation is the same in all regions.

Lee Gamble, managing director of Berry Recruitment – one of the group’s three brands – said: “There has been a shortage of candidates – particularly temporary workers – for a number of years.

“This was caused by multiple reasons including a growing economy, but it has become worse in the last 12 months as companies prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

“They are over-producing so they have a reserve of stock should they find the post-Brexit landscape lined with hurdles and pit-falls.

“We are seeing an unprecedented demand and there are more opportunities than there are workers.

“It also means increased competition between recruitment companies for these workers and is a reason why we are successful.

“The temporary workers we employ are interviewed face-to-face and we consider that matching them to the right role is as important as matching permanent candidates to a role.

“Many temporary workers have been with us for decades because we get to know them, keep them in work, advise them properly in what skills they need and pay more than most.

“We are also working very closely with our UK-based EU workers to reassure them and make sure they are aware of their continued working rights via the EU Settlement Scheme.

“This is part of how we are attracting more workers than the competition

“Also, agencies using automated systems that lead to much less personal contact with candidates are losing out, and we are benefiting.

“However, you can’t create candidates out of thin air and the longer the uncertainty continues the more problematic the situation will become.

“We’d love to be helping more workers – but there aren’t enough.”

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