Collins McNicholas has seen a 4.8% growth in registered job vacancies in the first six months of 2016 compared with the last 6 months of 2015. The number of candidates registering with Collins McNicholas has increased by 2.8% in the same period. The unemployment rate currently stands at 7.8% (MAY 2016), having fallen steadily from 9.8% over the last 12 months. The unemployment rate will continue to decline over the next 12 months, albeit at a slower pace than the previous 12 months. The Irish economy continues to grow and job creation should rise with it, but the consequences of Britain’s departure from the EU will have a negative impact on the Irish economy, slowing growth and job creation.
A weakening sterling will hurt Irish exports to Britain, particularly in the agricultural sector. Tourism will also be affected as British holidaymakers will find it more expensive to visit Ireland. Issues surrounding the rights to residency of the roughly 400,000 Irish people living in the UK will also need to be resolved. This could benefit Ireland if even a small of number of skilled professionals choose to return to the country. “However, despite the uncertain consequences of Brexit on the Irish economy, foreign direct investment (FDI) is strong and should grow as investors seek to maintain access to the EU markets and avoid the uncertainty over Britain’s status post-Brexit,” said Niall Murray, Managing Director of Collins McNicholas.
High technology sectors, in particular ICT, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices, are doing well. Graduate output has increased significantly in the STEM subjects and excellent progress has been made in retraining people for jobs in these sectors. “Springboard alone provided 41 ICT courses in 2015 and will provide 1,800 places in its new selection of ICT courses beginning in September,” said Mr. Murray. Ireland is also an attractive option for some of the brightest international tech talent. The recent launch of the Tech/Life Ireland initiative, aimed at attracting 3,000 top tech professionals to Ireland per annum, is an example of the creativity and resourcefulness employed to grow the tech industry in Ireland.
There have been some significant job announcements over the last few months. Medtech company Zeltiq’s will open a European manufacturing centre in Galway, Eurofin Laboratories, in Dungarvin, plans to increase its staff to 500 by 2021, Nexvet Biopharma opened its development and manufacturing facility in Tullamore, and Amazon announced the creation of 500 jobs. Jobseekers will skills in software development, quality or process engineering, or lab analysts will continue to be in strong demand over the next 12-18 months.
Commenting on trends in the Irish labour market Managing Director Niall Murray stated: “The outlook for Ireland’s labour market is positive. I expect that by the end of the year the number of people in work will exceed two million for the first time since the recession began. Demand for high skilled workers, such as those with experience in software, medical devices, and biopharma, will remain strong going forward, but the challenge now will be to provide training and employment opportunities for the long-term unemployed.”