Friday 19 January 2018

Irish firms less likely to hire UK staff over visa fears

British PM Theresa May has set the date for Brexit. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
British PM Theresa May has set the date for Brexit. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Michael Cogley and Colm Kelpie

More than half of Irish companies are now less likely to hire workers from the UK fearing a potential need for work visas and increased complications, new research has shown.

Despite job postings from multinationals based here hitting an all-time high in 2016, Irish businesses now see UK workers as less attractive after the Brexit vote, according to a new study from recruitment firm Cpl Resources.

The Cpl Jobs Index reached a new high for 2016, hitting 223 in the second quarter of 2016.

That's more than twice the number of jobs posted on average in 2011 at the outset of the index.

Jobs growth is continuing to accelerate primarily in FDI sectors such as IT, accounting, science and engineering, and finance.

"After a very small annual growth in jobs posted in early 2016, the rate of growth has gathered pace since, reaching 7pc in the second quarter and 10pc in the most recent quarter", Cpl director Peter Cosgrove said.

The strongest growth reported of the four main sectors was in accountancy, finance and banking, which grew by 39pc year-on-year.

Trinity College Dublin assistant professor in economics Ronan Lyons, who wrote the report, said all sectors reported an increase in job openings.

"A huge gap exists between employer and job-seeker assessments of the market, with both believing it is the other's market. This points to a mismatch between the skills that workers have and the skills that businesses need," he said.

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There were a total of 2,612 jobs posted during the period with the survey being completed by 273 employers in August. Meanwhile, there was brief reprieve for sterling yesterday after UK Prime Minister Theresa May promised that MPs would get to debate leaving the European Union.

But Ms May stopped short of allowing Westminster a vote on whether to formally trigger the Article 50 process.

The pound dipped briefly below 90p against the euro.

But it was shortlived as investors continued to remain jittery over the prospect that the UK government was focused on severing links with the European Union rather than maintaining some access to the Single Market.

It had earlier rallied as much as 1.6pc against the dollar, to a high of $1.2326.

Investec Ireland said that while the debate in parliament will be non-binding, it moved in small part to allay some of the so-called 'hard' Brexit concerns.

"As to whether we have seen a bottom in the pound remains to be seen, with the near-term outlook for sterling set to remain volatile, with sentiment set to remain driven by headlines and uncertainty over the UK's exit terms," the specialist bank noted.

Sterling has been under pressure since the UK's referendum on Europe on June 23, but it weakened further after Ms May's comments to the Conservative Party conference last week.

Meanwhile, AIB Treasury Manager John Sheils told an audience of mushroom producers yesterday that while it was difficult to plan given so much uncertainty, there were options for mushroom growers seeking to reduce the risk of their profit margins being eroded further by adverse exchange rate movements. These included having a treasury policy in place.

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