‘Brain gain' for Northern Ireland as diaspora return home

An ever-increasing number of well-paid high-skilled and professional jobs in Northern Ireland - particularly Belfast - is leading to a growing number of local people re-locating back from overseas, according to a report from Brightwater NI

NORTHERN Ireland is starting to see the reversal of the brain drain generation, which saw hundreds of school leavers move away for university and subsequently stay away for better employment opportunities.

Figures from recruitment firm Brightwater NI show a 14 per cent increase in the number of indigenous Northern Ireland candidates currently living elsewhere and seeking professional career opportunities back home.

The findings also highlight a continued increase in this trend with growing numbers of returning candidates over the last three years to its current peak in 2018.

Cathal O Donnell, regional director with Brightwater NI, believes signs that the professional diaspora is returning is positive news for local organisations.

He said: “We're seeing a growing number of native Northern Irish job seekers looking for their next career opportunity back home. This increase in skills and experience is excellent news for local businesses and organisations at a time of high employment and increased competition for the top candidates.

“There are many reasons people want to relocate here. Better jobs, house prices, family, schools and living standards are all major considerations when we talk to candidates looking for a career move back home.

"And with many large organisations choosing Northern Ireland - and specifically Belfast - to set up new offices, there is an ever-increasing number of well-paid, high-skilled and professional jobs available for those keen to re-locate, and this is a trend we expect to see for the foreseeable future.”

Belfast recently featured in the Sunday Times ‘Best Places to Live' and regularly features in top 10 visitor destinations by publications such as Lonely Planet, which named the city its number one place to visit in 2018.

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