UK markets closed

UK firms hiring more workers in 'Brexit jobs'

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
Figures show a rise in Brexit-related jobs. Photo: Virginia Mayo/AP

New figures reveal the rise of a new Brexit industry in Britain, as firms have hired growing numbers of staff to handle the UK’s exit from the EU.

Data from jobs site Indeed, seen exclusively by Yahoo Finance UK, shows the rising number of job ads specifically highlighting Brexit issues since the 2016 referendum.

The roles are heavily skewed towards higher-paid professional roles, with lawyers, tax and accountancy professionals, lobbyists, and consultants among the most in demand.

The number of adverts mentioning Brexit has soared from 25 roles for every million jobs in September 2016 to a peak of 368 roles in October 2018.

It has since dropped slightly to 300 roles in every million advertised on Indeed in September last year.

Many Brexit campaigners had hoped leaving the EU would lead to a reduction in red tape and bureaucracy.

READ MORE: UK retailers have ‘slashed 10,000 jobs already this year’

But whatever path Britain takes, many firms appear to see new administrative challenges from Brexit for now at least, either for themselves or their clients.

Indeed found the job most likely to include ‘Brexit’ in adverts was ‘tax manager,’ appearing in 7.2% of all job descriptions for such roles.

‘Accounting manager’ was also among the top 10 roles which featured Brexit most.

Firms appear to be concerned about legal issues around Britain’s departure, which could involve the complicated untangling of decades of integration in law, regulation, and other areas.

‘Lawyer’ was the third most-common role to contain the word ‘Brexit’ on the jobs site, with ‘counsel’ and ‘compliance officer’ also in the top 10.

With the potential for significant change in so many areas of policy, political lobbying is another growth area. Around 1.1% of ‘public affairs specialist’ jobs referenced Brexit.

Brexit has attracted significant academic attention too, with 1.8% of all UK postings for ‘post-doctoral fellows’ including the phrase.

Other job ads among the most likely to highlight Brexit included software engineers and management consultants.

Bill Richards, managing director at Indeed, said:  “Britain may have left the European Union but our data shows companies are still busy preparing for potential impacts by hiring workers specifically with Brexit in mind.”

He said the company’s analysis of hundreds of thousands of postings helped “shine a light” on how firms were preparing for the end of Britain’s current Brexit transition period in 2021.

“Interestingly, many of the roles explicitly mentioning ‘Brexit’ are in the legal and accountancy sectors suggesting companies are beefing up their workforce in these areas to assess new laws and frameworks,” he noted.

Richards said employers were also increasingly mentioning the need for any EU, EEA, and Swiss jobseekers to apply for the EU settlement scheme if planning to live in Britain beyond June next year.