FM companies losing skilled EU workers offer higher pay

Since the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, facilities management firms have been forced to turn to financial incentives to try and keep talented EU citizens from leaving the country. Financial data from Engage Technology Partners has revealed that since the vote, hourly pay for skilled roles that are in short supply has risen. In particular, maintenance positions have seen a significant rise in wages.

Handymen/women and mechanical maintenance professionals have seen the greatest increase in pay during the past three years, experiencing 13 per cent and 10 per cent increases respectively. Electricians have also seen a 5 per cent rise in hourly wages since the vote.

The data has been released after reports from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development that UK industry is already feeling the affects of talent shortages ahead of the UK’s proposed exit from the European Union on the 29th March 2019. In its latest Labour Market Outlook report, the organisation showed that a third of employers of foreign EU citizens reported that the Brexit decision had influenced these professionals to leave their UK based workforce.

Drey Francis, director at Engage, said: “For facilities management firms, maintaining reliable access to a team of maintenance professionals was already an issue before the Brexit vote. Since the decision was made to exit the EU, this issue has deteriorated further, with many of the FM firms we have a relationship with reporting that availability of these professionals is one of their biggest concerns going into 2019.

 “Given how sparse some of the talent for these roles is in general, it’s perhaps no wonder that employers are turning to financial incentives to attract staff. However, this isn’t a sustainable approach. Of course, we still need to wait and see what happens in terms of the agreement on the Freedom of Movement for the UK, but action can be taken now to improve staffing efficiencies in order to better cope with the expected upheaval in spring 2019.”