Tech jobs ‘already relocating abroad’, survey says

Jobs in the UK's technology sector are already moving abroad because of the vote to leave the European Union, a report claimed on Thursday.

Technology companies moving abroad post-Brexit
A poll conducted in the sector by Magister Advisors – a specialist investment bank with offices in London and Silicon Valley – showed the uncertainty following the Brexit vote could become the "silent killer" of the industry in Britain.The report said that half the sector's talent pool originated in the UK with another 30 per cent coming from EU countries and the remainder being expats from farther afield.Victor Basta, managing director at Magister Advisors, said the Brexit vote had resulted in new jobs being created in EU nations, rather than the UK, while others were being relocated."The reason for all this isn't Brexit itself; no-one can guess what it will actually mean, or how negative its implications," he said. "The silent killer is the uncertainty Brexit now forces fast-growth companies to confront. "Their CEOs face so many critical decisions, and so much risk already, and the last thing they need is basic regulatory and economic uncertainty. While the UK government is admirably working at government warp-speed, unfortunately tech moves 100 times faster. "An incalculable number of jobs, and future growth, will have shifted elsewhere in Europe by the time Article 50 is triggered, and unless there is unprecedented clarity upfront about what Brexit will actually look like, the best tech companies will have to assume the worst and act accordingly."

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The report cited two, post-referendum examples. "On June 23 (the day of the referendum), the board of a 700-person software company met to decide where to add 100 engineers in Europe. First choice was London, but if Brexit happened, they would opt for Germany. On June 24, 100 highly-skilled tech jobs silently and irreparably left the UK’s fastest growing sector."A UK fin-tech company had to decide during August whether to expand its Dublin or London operations. The board voted unanimously; the company had to become Brexit-proof, so dozens of jobs shifted without fanfare to Dublin."The report on Thursday came a day after a survey from the Bank of England suggested that companies had frozen both investment and non-essential hirings because of the uncertainty caused by the referendum outcome.The bank's latest Summary of Business Conditions suggested there would be "broadly flat levels of capital spending and employment" over the coming months, with the commercial property market being particularly hard hit.Hiring had also tailed off among professional and financial services firms, although the report said that, overall, business were now more optimistic about the future than they had been in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote.Allan Monks, an economist at JP Morgan, said the report pointed to the fact that, while surveys had raised hopes of a post-referendum bounce, there was a "clearer Brexit impact ahead that bleeds in slowly through time" and would have "significant adverse economic implications".He added, "Readings on employment, and, particularly investment intentions, over the forthcoming year show a marked deterioration within service sector industries."

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