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Northern Ireland's diaspora are return home, says research

  • Northern Ireland is starting to see the reversal of the brain drain generation who moved abroad for employment opportunities.

    In recent years, hundreds of school leavers have moved outside of Northern Ireland for university and subsequently stayed away, taking up employment elsewhere.

    However that trend appears to be changing according to recent research from Northern Irish recruitment firm, Brightwater NI. The company's findings shows a 14% increase in the number of indigenous Northern Ireland candidates currently living elsewhere who are now seeking professional career opportunities back home.

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

    “As the figures show, we are seeing a growing number of native Northern Irish job seekers looking for their next career opportunity back home," said Cathal O Donnell, Regional Director with Brightwater NI. "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 re-locate to Northern Ireland. 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.

    "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 was recently listed by the Sunday Times as one of the UK’s ‘Best Places to Live’ and regularly features in top ten visitor destinations by publications such as Lonely Planet which named the city its number one place to visit in 2018.

    In recent weeks, there have numerous job announcements for the city, including London based financial services and information technology consultancy firm McGinnis Consulting, who has chosen Northern Ireland for a new 10 person financial services and software development centre at the Innovation Factory in West Belfast.

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