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back to index backEUROtalk October,  2016


Carmakers look to move research roles to eastern Europe after Brexit vote

Recruitment firms are searching for skilled staff and senior executives to lead R&D teams in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

Carmakers are shifting their research centres to eastern Europe following the Brexit vote to lower costs and maintain unfettered access to European markets.

Recruitment firms are on the lookout for skilled staff and senior executives who can lead research and development teams in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.

DHR International, a recruitment firm with offices in 25 countries, said a drift towards eastern Europe in recent years had accelerated since the referendum as carmakers weigh up the costs of remaining in the UK.

The firm’s comments follow a letter from the Japanese government saying that firms based in Britain would be forced to consider switching some or all of their manufacturing to the continent unless the UK secures a deal with Brussels that includes access to the free market and free movement of labour.

DHR said skilled staff were 40% cheaper in eastern Europe. Car firms are also keen for senior UK staff to relocate, it said.

Car firms are searching for senior product and component designers, procurement officers, software developers and back-office roles in human resources, finance and help-desk positions.

DHR International said: Brexit raises questions over whether UK R&D centres will find that new immigration rules hamper their ability to attract the best global talent.”

Jaguar, Renault and Audi have already opened factories in eastern Europe and have been joined by rivals keen to benefit from large numbers of skilled staff.

Bulgaria comes second to Germany in the percentage of graduates in manufacturing engineering, according to Unesco figures. Renault has well-established design, engineering and test centres in Romania, investing more than €2.3bn (£2bn) and employing more than 16,000 staff in the country.

Frank Smeekes, the managing partner for Europe at DHR, said: Brexit has intensified the drive toward moving knowledge-intensive automotive roles east.

For some industry players, the UK now makes less sense as a long-term base for their high-level European operations, if they can make the knowledge-cost ratio stack up elsewhere.”

Source: The Guardian - GAI





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