55% of Irish SMEs believe that falling emigration will lead to an enhanced talent pool as the economy continues to improve.
This is welcome news and shows continued support of the Finance Minister, Michael Noonan’s Spring Statement, in which he said that economic recovery is yielding benefits in the labour market, with 95,000 net new jobs having been created since the low-point of the economic crisis.
Despite the positive sentiments, 21% of those surveyed by Close Brothers that actually plan to recruit this year think they will have a problem finding the right person due to a skills gap in their sector.
Paul Stephens, from Close Brothers Commercial Finance said: “It’s widely reported that booming sectors such as IT, engineering and pharma are crying out for talent and without the right skills in the workforce we risk reduced innovation, lower productivity and increased staff turnover.
“As both falling emigration and increasing immigration widens the talent pool, the business community must continue to focus on up-skilling and re-skilling those within it to ensure we fill the surplus of jobs being created.”
The financier’s research also revealed that almost a third of respondents in Ireland admit there is a skills gap amongst their current employees.
Mr Stephens added: “At a time when confidence in our recovery is ever increasing, companies should make sure that investment in their people is a high priority and it’s vital they encourage training and development, no matter the size of their budget.”
The findings come from the Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that canvasses the opinion of SME owners and managers from a range of sectors across Ireland and the UK.