Post-Brexit migration and accessing foreign talent in the Creative Industries

30 March 2023

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Ian Fillis, 

Ian Fillis

Professor of Entrepreneurship, Liverpool John Moores University

Mohamed Haddoud Mohamed, 

Mohamed Haddoud Mohamed

Associate Professor in Management at the British University in Dubai

Tammy Murphy

Tammy Murphy

Faculty of Business and Law, Liverpool John Moores University

The UK's departure from the EU has changed the way that British firms trade and work with Europe.

Brexit has introduced new barriers to the single market, and through the ending of the free movement of workers, made it harder for UK firms to hire foreign talent from the EU.

The Creative Industries rely, more than other economic sectors, on foreign talent, particularly freelancers. Stricter visa policies and more complex migration systems have made it harder for them to hire the talent they need. Greater administrative burdens have been imposed on UK creative firms, and this has made it harder for them to balance their books.

This research paper explores how the UK's Creative Industries have been impacted by Brexit, with a particular focus on migration and foreign workers.

It starts by reviewing the current evidence for the impact of Brexit on the Creative Industries. It then presents an analysis of two stages of research, an initial qualitative stage based on interviews with managers in the creative industries, and a second quantitative stage using data from a questionnaire of creative industries firms with 147 responses.

The authors recommend changes to the UK’s visa system, to make it easier for UK firms to hire the specialised, foreign talent that they need to compete on global markets.