A new survey conducted by Manufacturing NI, the business lobby headed by Derryman Stephen Kelly, has highlighted high levels of alarm, frustration and concern among the secondary sector over ongoing Brexit uncertainty. Among the poll’s starkest findings are that well over a third of local manufacturers said they planned shifting production outside of the North.
More than a quarter of firms surveyed by the Manufacturing NI representative group said they were considering expanding outside Northern Ireland to ensure a continued presence in the EU. Many are “terrified” by the ongoing uncertainty as they try to plan for the future.
Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish families have taken the biggest hits to their living standards, according to the most detailed analysis yet of the inflation which followed last year’s Leave victory.
Two-thirds of companies across the sectors said recruiting EU migrant workers was now more difficult than before the vote to leave. Around one-quarter of firms also said they had difficulty in retaining workers over the last three months.
“By 2024, just seven years from now, we will need an additional 2,000 chefs and in total the sector will have over 30,000 job vacancies to fill over the same period. The reality is that we cannot fill those positions by recruiting from Northern Ireland alone, especially given our low unemployment rate.”