Cpl Cork Director, Lisa Broderick shares her opinion on the positive outlook for Cork post-Brexit, as companies look for alternatives in the EU.

In Cork, we are experiencing high demand in specialist roles within technologyfinancelife sciencepharmaceutical and construction.

No one can predict for certain the impact Brexit will have, but, we are already seeing companies that wish to remain in the EU looking to Cork as an alternative to Dublin.

Overall, there is a feeling of confidence and vibrancy here in almost all industries. With unemployment at its lowest level in over a decade, and an encouraging unemployment rate forecast (as low as 5.5%) for 2018, we are finding candidates have more and more choice.

Companies are having to move quickly and are becoming increasingly competitive, not just with salaries and packages, but also with incentives focusing on flexibility, work environment and opportunity for career progression.

Industry is working closely with IDA Ireland, Cork Chamber of Commerce and educational bodies locally to ready our local infrastructure and talent pool for the growth anticipated in the region.

Cork is set to become Ireland’s fastest growing region. The city is preparing itself to cope with a population three times its current size over the next two decades.

If you look up while walking down the South Mall or over the quay in Cork, the number of cranes and buildings under construction is very encouraging.

Quantity surveyors and site-based construction staff, cybersecurity, fintech and accounting professionals currently top a very long list of in-demand roles in Cork.

Remuneration packages are increasing, but in blue-collar industries such as construction and manufacturing, we are compacting for candidates in other overseas markets offering generous packages for skilled staff.

This is a major issue and one local bodies and taking steps to tackle. It’s tough for employers, who tendered for the current projects two and three years ago when we couldn’t predict the rapid upturn in the market and staff shortages.

What are we finding is that companies are counter-offering more and more to hold on to valuable staff. They are committing more to other benefits over and above the base salaries, including healthcare, pension, parking, maternity and bonuses or shares.

We expect demand to increase across most sectors, with IDA Ireland continuing to bring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the region.

Reasons for choosing Cork stem from the availability of talent, office space and overall affordability. And, of course, the charm here is hard to resist.

This post originally appeared in the Sunday Business Post’s Cork 2018 publication.

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