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Republic will become magnet for Northern Ireland talent after Brexit: warning

By John Mulgrew

Northern Ireland could suffer a brain drain of talent following Brexit, an expert has warned.

Darrach Teague, head of operations at recruitment firm Cpl, spoke out after a survey showed that a majority of businesses in the Republic believed they would be better placed to attract top staff after the UK leaves the EU.

Mr Teague said Northern Ireland must "plan for the potential knock-on effects of EU uncertainty to ensure it continues to attract the skills it needs".

"With its favourable corporate and personal tax rates, a young, talented workforce and soon to be the only English speaking country in the EU, the Republic is in a strong position to attract talent," he explained. "Estimates suggest that foreign direct investment is at an all-time high and is set to rise further due to its increasing appeal.

"Northern Ireland's unique place in the UK and the all-island nature of the local economy could leave it exposed.

"The challenge is to work creatively to position Northern Ireland as a good place to do business, ensuring continued investment to maintain and grow our skills base."

Aine Brolly, chief executive of Cpl in Northern Ireland, added: "Northern Ireland's productivity shortfall compared to Great Britain and international best practice has existed for decades.

"As our research shows, employers are resisting home working with presenteeism appearing, still, to be an important criterion for measuring productivity, despite proof it is ineffective.

"If employers want to hire and keep the best talent, they need to reconsider what they can offer.

"This change in culture could benefit not only individual companies and sectors, but the economy as a whole."

Earlier this year, Northern Ireland pharmaceutical firm Almac said its decision to open premises in the Republic was a direct result of Brexit.

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