Ahead of the EU referendum in June, Mike Hill the chief executive at Prospects has warned that leaving the EU would have a negative outcome on the UK graduate jobs market.
He highlighted that cross-border collaboration is crucial in order for both higher education and business to thrive, and said leaving the EU would have an impact at both a large multinational and local SME level.
Hill said: “For business, being part of the EU enables access to this market and through trade deals with developed and developing economies. There will be reduction in UK investment as people move to invest in continental Europe, particularly Ireland. As we saw in the last recession, the graduate labour market is particularly vulnerable to issues in the financial market, which we will see if Frankfurt takes over as Europe’s financial capital. The ability to recruit overseas talent will also be quashed.
“For higher education, the flow of talented young people into our system at an undergraduate and postgraduate level would be severely affected with a knock-on effect on the viability of some Masters courses, which rely heavily on overseas participants, as well as diminution of the skills and abilities of UK domiciled graduates.
“A Brexit will affect the ability of young people to work and learn in the EU. We will be slamming the door in the face of some of our most motivated and talented individuals. The free movement of labour – properly regulated – is an immense benefit to our graduates as they move into and through the labour market.
“I spend a lot of time liaising with similar organisations to mine overseas, and their governments, universities and businesses are much more interested in China, India, North America and Europe than they are in smaller, discrete economies.
“Our children and grandchildren will rue the day if the UK votes against its long-term interests to leave Europe. My own children are 23 and 19, and I don’t want to see their long-term life chances shrunk by short-term considerations.”