The Lords EU services sub-committee has published a report warning that the professional and business services sector has been overlooked in the trade negotiations.
Responding to the report, Neil Carberry Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said:
“Times are tough and we have a lot of work to do to get our labour market back on track. Today’s report is right to warn that the professional and business services industry have so far been overlooked in trade negotiations. Whilst The COVID-19 crisis has left our members little bandwidth for other matters, we are pleased the Lords committee has listened to our concerns on the potential impact on the recruitment industry of not getting trade deals right. At last count the recruitment industry was worth £35.7 billion. For it to continue to be an integral driving force for the UK’s economic recovery we ask the government to deliver the following as part of trade negotiations:
“Reducing unnecessary trade barriers is essential. This includes minimising restrictions to accessing markets. Any barriers will make doing business in other countries expensive and more risky.
“Professional Qualifications – The Government has said they want to reach an agreement on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualification with the EU. This important – as one member said – this would “allow drivers to drive our trucks having taken their test in the EU.” There are over 1.2 million live jobs vacancies in the UK according to our data. Not all of those roles can be filled by the UK’s skills base. There has to be a route for filling roles from elsewhere.
“Mobility – Ensuring UK professionals can still easily travel within the EU and conduct business is crucial. Trade deals can help mitigate what will be a more restrictive future immigration policy. For instance, we welcome the youth mobility scheme gives visas to a set number of ‘young people’ from Australia, New Zealand and other countries to work in the UK.
“Data sharing – Ensuring data flows easily between the UK and EU will be important for our ability to conduct business abroad.
“Our members urgently need clarity on how to run their businesses post Brexit so they have time to prepare and innovate. The government should take this report seriously and act quickly to create the right conditions for our collective economic recovery.”