UK’s labour crisis a result of pandemic and post-Brexit double ...

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UK’s labour crisis a result of pandemic and post-Brexit double whammy

Chronic shortage of workers due to self isolation is masking the challenge for firms struggling to recruit after Brexit

Jack Sidders, Deirdre Hipwell, Joe Mayes and Libby Cherry

On the outskirts of the Scottish town of Kirkcaldy is a crop of new houses on their way to completion. There are two large banners pinned to the perimeter fence with a cellphone number: “Bricklayers Required.”

Rather than prices or availability dates, the most visible sign for passing drivers speaks to one of Britain’s biggest challenges post-Brexit. Companies across key parts of the economy just can’t find enough people.

The focus in recent weeks has been on the hundreds of thousands of individuals being told to isolate because of exposure to Covid-19, the number hitting almost 690,000 in the latest period. Yet as the pandemic cloud starts to lift and the economy is unshackled, the true impact of the shortage is becoming more apparent...

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