by Aiken PR
Cpl which has over 40 offices in 11 countries, has however stated that in order to sustain the robustness of these industries, more investment is needed in upskilling, training and sectoral development with unemployment hitting a record low level of 2.9% and a continued exodus of talented people creating challenges for the NI economy.
While Ulster Bank’s latest quarterly economic report highlighted a contraction in output, Cpl has stated that investment in the Northern Ireland economy continues to provide employment opportunities, but that regional and local government support is needed to sustain that investment in the medium to long term.
According to Áine Brolly, CEO of Cpl in Northern Ireland, and former Senior Vice President of Invest NI in San Francisco, the recent Belfast, Derry and Strabane City deals are instrumental in supporting upskilling, training and development which will support investment in the region.
Commenting Áine Brolly said;
‘There is no doubt we are operating in a challenging economic environment, however, continued Foreign Direct Investment from recent businesses such as Firstsource and Seagate show that Northern Ireland remains an attractive region to invest in.
‘At CPL we are seeing increased opportunities across key sectors including tech and manufacturing, with the latter having grown at its fastest rate since 1998.
‘Research shows that if we achieve current aspirations for the knowledge economy, there would be circa 80,000 jobs and £3.2bn GVA added to our economy. This will require an additional 2,500 skilled people coming into NI and will only be possible if we focus our efforts and our collective responsibility to take action now.
‘However, with the uncertainty and changing social dynamic following Brexit, as well as the fall in sterling, businesses are struggling to recruit the number of EU nationals needed to support business development. We have to look at how we can mitigate in these areas, with city deals a key mechanism for ensuring future economic prosperity.
‘City deals in Derry and Belfast can help to ensure the local economy continues to provide high quality jobs and wages across various sectors by ensuring that organisations instrumental in providing services relating to training and development and upskilling are provided with the resources that will support and develop the employment market. ‘