After the recent twists and turns in Brexit I decided to write a piece for the next Student Employer magazine looking at what student employers thought about Brexit. We did some surveying on this in January (see How Brexit may impact student recruitment) and I’ve also pulled out some data on the level of European recruitment from our last recruitment survey.
You’ll have to wait until the next issue of Student Employer to see the full article, but for a bit of fun I threw up a Twitter poll for HE staff. In it I asked whether they agreed with the following statement ‘Brexit will make it easier for the students that I work with to find decent work when they graduate.‘
145 people answered the poll suggesting and overwhelmingly disagreed with the idea that Brexit would improve the employment prospects of current HE students. Obviously there are all sorts of issues with polls like this in terms of sample bias and whether people are really just registering their dissatisfaction with Brexit more generally. I’m not claiming any representativeness for this poll, but if we take this as face value for a moment it makes for fairly grim reading.
At the moment we are about to make a major constitutional change with massive attendant economic impacts, almost no one who works with higher education students (and who answered this little poll) believes that it will improve their labour market prospects.
I’m no ‘remainiac’ but I can’t help but agree. Obviously no one can predict the future, but it is very easy to build a scenario where Brexit leads to both short and long term economic decline and a weakening labour market, particularly at the entry point. It is a bit more difficult, but still possible to build a scenario where things carry on as they have been, but I find it almost impossible to build a scenario where Brexit stimulates the graduate labour market and leads to an explosion of good quality jobs for young people coming out of universities.
But, maybe this is just my failure of imagination.
I’d be interested to hear what others thing about this.