UK employers scale back hiring plans after Brexit vote-survey

August 14, 2016 7:22 PM EDT

A worker arrives at his office in the Canary Wharf business district in London February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

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LONDON (Reuters) - British employers have turned more cautious about hiring and are less likely to invest in training for their workers following the decision in June by voters to leave the European Union, a survey showed on Monday.

The proportion of employers expecting to increase staffing over the next three months dropped from 40 percent before the referendum to 36 percent after it, according to the CIPD, an organization representing human resources professionals, and staffing firm Adecco Group UK & Ireland.

One in five employers expected to reduce investment in training and skills as a result of Brexit and the subsequent fall in the value of the pound which will push up the cost of imports. Seven percent planned to invest more.

"While many businesses are treating the immediate post-Brexit period as 'business as usual' and hiring intentions overall still remain positive, there are signs that some organizations, particularly in the private sector, are preparing to batten down the hatches," CIPD acting chief economist Ian Brinkley said.

Most employers said it was too soon to say if their migrant workers would leave Britain as a result of Brexit, but one in five thought that some were considering moving away from the country over the next 12 months.

Most economists believe Britain is heading for a recession followed by a period of slow growth because of uncertainty about the country's future trading relationship with the EU. Earlier this month, the Bank of England cut interest rates and took other measures to try to offset the Brexit shock to the economy.

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Howard Goller)

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