Monday 16 September 2019

Increasing labour costs and Brexit major concern for Wexford businesses

By Esther Hayden

CEO of Wexford Chamber of Commerce Madeline Quirke said that Irish businesses are concerned with increasing labour costs.

Speaking following an international survey on the key challenges for European businesses Ms Quirke said that Labour costs, the impact of Brexit and skills shortages are identified among the challenges facing Irish companies in 2017.

However the Eurochambres Economic Survey 2017 showed that the vast majority of European businesses do not identify Brexit as a challenge.

Ms Quirke said: 'Irish businesses continue to be concerned by increasing labour costs with 43 per cent of business citing it as their biggest challenge in 2017.

'A lack of skilled workers and skills mismatches are highlighted as significant concerns for European business and significantly 30 per cent of Irish business described skills as an important challenge for 2017. This suggests that many of the challenges facing businesses are common throughout Europe.

'Although Brexit is identified as the second biggest challenge facing Irish business, only 9.6 per cent of European respondents identified Brexit as a challenge. While it is not surprising that Brexit is a priority for Irish business due to our proximity and our close trading relationship, it's a worry that other European businesses do not share this. We believe this will have implications for future negotiations on the UK's exit. If businesses do not share our view on the importance of maintaining close trade relationships with the UK, they are far less likely to support a pragmatic approach to negotiations.'

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