Half of top grad companies will slash jobs if Britain leaves the EU

The big companies desperately want to avoid leaving

Half of the leading employers in the UK will slash their graduate intake if Britain decides to leave the EU, according to a survey by PathMotion.

The research found that if the UK votes to leave the EU, the sectors most likely to downsize their graduate schemes are banking & finance, retail, media, technology and law. These sectors, together with audit and professional services, employ over 50,000 graduates per year.

It is based on a survey of HR managers, partners and senior executives of 75 top UK graduate employers – including 50 of Guardian UK 300 Top Graduate Employers and 40 of Times Top 100 Graduate Employers – on the potential impact of leaving the EU on their graduate intakes. PathMotion said they could not name individual companies.


The three main reasons cited for fewer graduate hires under Brexit are were the impact of Brexit on the economy,  general uncertainty, and a lower talent pool of EU graduates applying for jobs.

A senior partner in a magic circle law firm said: “The graduate intake under Brexit would be lower due to the negative impact on the economy, especially in the City.”

Some companies said they would increase their intake of British talent to replace lost EU talent, but others said that they would just try and get work permits for outside talent, or reduce their intake.

According to a partner at a Big Four audit firm: “We need access to a wider [than UK] talent pool.”