UK managers predict economic slowdown ahead of Brexit

  • Three quarters of managers predict Britain is set to experience negative economic growth
  • Less than half are confident their senior executives have the skills to navigate Brexit
  • Investment in skills seen as key to post-Brexit strategy, support for the Apprenticeship Levy

[19 September] - British managers expect that Brexit will have a negative impact on economic growth, lead to a shortage of talent and threaten their own job security, according to a survey conducted by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

79% of the 1,065 managers surveyed predict Britain is set for negative economic growth over the next 12 to 18 months, whilst only 35% see the Brexit vote leading to economic growth over the next three to five years. It is widely believed by managers that foreign investment will be affected; with three in five suggesting that Britain’s split from the EU will reduce levels of overseas capital into the UK.

Management teams lack faith in the ability of their senior executives’ ability to navigate a post-Brexit-vote marketplace, with less than half (48%) lacking confidence that their leaders are able to lead their organisations in a Britain removed from Europe.

The concern extends to their own teams, with 44% concerned about the future status of current employees who are EU nationals, and 38% saying that difficulty in recruiting EU nationals will affect their organisation in the future. However, recruitment and training are identified as the top two areas expected to receive budget cuts, despite four in five (80%) of those surveyed citing investment into skills as even more important following the vote.

A renewed focus on skills means that nearly half (48%) now agree that the Apprenticeship Levy should be introduced as planned, compared to just 17% who disagree.

Ann Francke, CMI chief executive, comments:

“Brexit uncertainty has made many managers deeply anxious about growth, finance and access to talent from EU countries. But we need to move beyond being negative or waiting for the Government to fix things. It’s within our gift to make the most of the opportunities, and this starts with investing in the skills that will make us competitive.

 “We know that poor management costs UK plc £19bn in lower productivity, leaving us lagging behind our G7 EU neighbours. We need to equip our leaders and managers with the skills to embrace change, build trust and create working cultures with positive role models and inclusive values. Doing so will give us a better-managed Britain able to thrive in a post-Brexit economy.”

In other findings, managers’ worries extend to their own finances, with 58% believing that their earnings and savings will be negatively affected and 39% fearing the security of their jobs is at risk. Just 13% believed the Brexit vote would have any positive impact on their long term career prospects, whilst over half (51%) think it will be increasingly difficult to save money. The housing market also doesn’t escape management’s fears, with over a third (35%) suggesting that the vote will have a negative impact on their ability to buy a home.

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Notes to editors

Survey sample

This report is based on an online survey of 1,065 managers across the UK, comprising a wide range of roles and levels of seniority. Survey fieldwork was carried out during August 2016.

About CMI

  • The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the only chartered professional body for management and leadership, dedicated to improving managers’ skills and growing the number of qualified managers.

  • Our professional management qualifications span GCSE to PhD equivalent levels, including the unique Chartered Manager award, which increases earnings potential and improves workplace performance.
  • We provide employers and individual managers with access to the latest management thinking and with practical online support which helps them embrace change, create high performing teams and keep ahead of the curve.

  • With a member community of 136,000+ managers and leaders, we promote high standards of ethical practice through our Professional Code of Conduct, and help managers build their expertise through online networks, regional events and mentoring opportunities.


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