Business Leaders' Forum

Food firms face higher labour costs after Brexit

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food and drink manufacturers may face higher labour costs after Brexit, because they’ll have to compete for fewer non-UK EU workers, warns law firm DWF.

Manufacturers’ costs could rise as they will have to rely on more agency staff after the UK leaves the EU, DWF partner Hannah Robbins told, in an exclusive video interview at the Food Manufacture Group’s Business Leaders’ Forum.

“I think it will be ​[politically] unpalatable to have the same level of freedom of movement​ [after Brexit],”​ Robbins said.

‘Soften the blow’

“I think to soften the blow for all those people that voted for ​[Brexit] because of immigration concerns, the government will have to be seen to tackle it in some way. I don’t think we’ll experience the same freedom we see now in the future.”

Robbins said there was a huge opportunity for food and drink manufacturers to be innovative in their recruitment plans after Brexit. To find out how manufacturers can broaden the industry’s appeal to new young and home-grown talent, watch this video interview.

The Food Manufacture Group’s Business Leaders’ Forum​ was held at the London office of host sponsor law firm DWF, on January 24. Other sponsors included: RSA Insurance Group, packaging specialist Charpak and analytical testing provider ALS Life Sciences UK.

Related topics: People, Skills Gap, Brexit Debate

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