As we start the year Angela McGowan, the CBI Northern Ireland Director, has set out their vision for 2022 and how this can be achieved over the next few months. She admits that trading conditions have been incredibly tough over the past year, with the pandemic, supply chain issues, labour shortages and the changes brought upon by Brexit all taking their toll. There is now the spectre of inflation to contend with of course which will bring its own set of problems to the table.
The Importance Of Investing In Staff
Angela McGowan identifies 6 key areas to focus on in order to energise the economy, here are excerpts from her article in the Irish News today:
“Without doubt long-term success for local companies will stem from a greater commitment to investing in their staff, upskilling, and reskilling the workforce, raising levels of innovation and global sales and, of course, investing in technology and digital solutions to improve productivity and competitiveness.
“The Stormont Executive, too, have ambitions for a better economy in Northern Ireland which chime well with business ambitions. The 10x Economic Strategy has focused on the region’s current strengths and the areas where Northern Ireland can be a global leader in the next decade. Again, by thinking about where we would like the economy to be ten years from now, it puts current challenges in perspective and forces the Executive to make the necessary decisions today to shape and improve our future economy.
Greater Investment In Education & Skills
“There is no doubt that Northern Ireland’s economic ambitions are heavily reliant on greater investment in education and skills as well as investing in infrastructure and connectivity. Just as local firms need to commit to investing in their workforce through training and life-long learning opportunities, the Executive also must ensure that they sufficiently invest in our local skills strategy so that our economic vision of a better economy for can be realised.
“Like firms and the devolved government, the CBI too has committed to taking strategic steps that we think will improve the economy right across all UK regions in 2022 and beyond. In spring last year, we launched our flagship economic strategy called ‘Seize the Moment’, a bold blueprint for growth and shared prosperity over the coming decade.
“Our economic vision highlights six key areas for action – decarbonisation, innovation, globalisation, regional success, changing workforce and health – as well as the pathways to success for each of them. All of these areas for action are equally applicable to Northern Ireland’s overall success and indeed are consistent with the Department’s economic plan.
“So business is getting ready. The local Executive is getting ready and the CBI is ready. Eyes must now turn to the UK government to show its hand on regional growth strategies. The long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper is due early in the new year and has the potential to co-ordinate economic growth ambitions, enrich lives and people’s prospects across Northern Ireland, as well as other UK regions.
“Local businesses stand ready to work with government to make 2022 the year where we move from ambition to action. There is no doubt that the year ahead will be tricky with inflation and labour shortages; but with co-operation and a laser focus on the “areas for action” we can truly begin creating an economy that works for everyone across the UK.”
At WHR Accountants we firmly believe that 2022 will prove a much better year for our businesses than the last two difficult years and we can all move on to a brighter future.