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14 May 2019

Balmoral Show highlights agri-food sector’s need for flexible migration policy

The latest employment figures released today, show unemployment at a record low, employment at a record high, and economic inactivity, those not in work or seeking employment, decreasing. This week’s Balmoral Show, will highlight the excellence of the agri-food sector, however the continued success of this sector is dependent on continued access to labour.

Commenting, FSB NI Policy Chair, Tina McKenzie said:

“The news that the employment rate in Northern Ireland has grown to a record high, despite all the uncertainty which is surrounding the economy, can only be welcomed, and it is SMEs, who are the backbone of our economy, who continue to show incredible resilience.

“However, with a tight labour market and many sectors already noting significant skills shortages, it is an absolute necessity that future migration policy is suitably flexible to the needs of business, so they can continue to create jobs and make this place more prosperous.

“This week’s Balmoral Show will showcase the very best of our farming and agri-food industry, which plays a pivotal role in the local economy. If this industry can’t access the labour it needs post-Brexit, then its future success may well be in doubt.

“FSB will continue to engage with the UK government to ensure the needs of the Northern Ireland economy are reflected in how migration is managed in the future.”