Some of the key findings:-
- Generally, skills requirements have become more pronounced since the 2012 report was produced, due in part to the economic recovery making the labour market more competitive. However, the UK is an important market for a lot of respondents and customs clearance and financial management were deemed to be areas where there are skills gaps, particularly in SMEs.
- Agri-food is very exposed to Brexit. The UK not only represents a major market, but is also used as a landbridge for exports to Europe. The Agri-food sector also often has very integrated manufacturing processes with the UK, particularly with Northern Ireland. While evidence suggests the sector is growing new markets, skill sets relating to language and cultural skills are important in exploiting these further.
- Health Lifesciences firms generally have the skills and resources to deal with challenging trading conditions and territories. It is an integral part of many businesses in the sector, and its highly competitive nature (amongst the most adaptable in the world) means that upskilling is related to striving to be ‘best in class’. However, there is concern about regulatory divergence in this sector.
- In Technology, Ireland has excelled, and attracted by a skilled workforce, open economy, low corporation tax and English speaking population has established itself as a major centre for
MNCs in the sector. The sector pays well and is able to attract highly skilled individuals from across the world. It is generally less reliant on the UK as a key market and less still as a
landbridge function as the value is high but the volume is low.
- With regards to High Value Manufacturing, exposure to the UK varies depending on the organisation; however, companies in this sector tend to have a diversified market across many geographies. Dedicated global trading teams and experience of dealing with challenging and changing markets are common in MNCs and they are therefore well equipped to cope with the challenges of Brexit.
- The construction sector is relatively relaxed about the impact of Brexit, with some seeing benefits associated with relocation of organisations from London to Dublin, despite competition from other European cities. Some respondents who manufacture products for the construction sector were found to be exposed to the UK market and may need to look to new markets.