Ireland is caught in an economic vice. Brexit hasn't even happened yet and already the Irish economy is feeling the bitter winds inbound from just over the Irish Sea.
A few days ago, Bord Bia - that wonderful state agency responsible for monitoring Ireland's food and drink industry - reported that the fall in the value of Sterling has already wiped out €570 million in potential exports within this industry. That's a hell-of-a-lot of euro. (see RTE reporter George Lee's article on additional downsides due to Brexit). What's shiveringly possible is: the spectre of Brexit could result in yet another wave of unemployment sweeping into this country.
The impact of Brexit is difficult to fully predict. We do not yet know if the United Kingdom will push tariffs on a variety of products down our throats. If they do prices of Irish exports into the UK will skyrocket, further dampening the suddenly fragile Irish economic recovery. The government is taking some action by pro-actively consulting with Irish exporters. Many companies here depend largely on UK exports to make a profit and survive. The Irish government is suggesting it's time to diversify to other nations in order to mitigate risk. However, gearing up to serve the needs of other countries can be a relatively long process. In the meantime, those employed by Irish companies who are dependent on Britain as a key export market are going to have to take a huge breath and cross their fingers, hoping they'll be able to keep their jobs as the ramification of Brexit becomes clearer.
Job Opportunities Due to Brexit
But all is not lost. Ireland is still hiring big-time within key industries. It turns out that Brexit may have a silver lining after all. Many UK-based companies, fearing a loss of free-trade movement throughout the EU, are considering a relocation to Ireland. For that reason, legal, accounting, and professional services could see a significant rise in employment opportunities.
Other industries are also gearing up despite - or because - of Brexit. Folks with skills in digital marketing, engineers of all types, pharmaceutical specialists, guys and gals with experience in global sales and marketing, IT, nurses and doctors, people with construction experience - all are still in great demand.
So much so that many companies are recruiting Irish citizens who left this country to immigrate abroad during the bad years in order to survive. Today, businesses are reaching out to the great Irish diaspora, hoping to lure many of these people back home to fill their skills shortages.
So yes. The impact from Brexit will certainly shake Ireland's economy and the job prospects that go with a recovery. But - the uncertainly of Brexit could also deliver more opportunities to this country.
For more information take a look at a December article by The Irish Examiner. A thoughtful - and hope-filled - piece.
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If this blog interests you and you want to learn more about Ireland why not consider purchasing A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland 2017 Edition. Are you thinking about living and working in Ireland? Would you like to move to Ireland? Do you want to know how to get an Irish work visa in this country? Do you need to know how Brexit and Trump policies may affect your plans? If so, consider purchasing the 2017 edition of A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland by Tom Richards. Now almost 90,000 words long, this book could make the perfect gift for those interested in this wonderful country. Over 14,000 people have now learned how to live, laugh, and drink like the Irish by reading this Kindle ebook. I hope you enjoy, and my very best - Tom
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