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Salary Survey 2019 - out now!

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Skills shortages and a growth in manufacturing in Northern Ireland have combined to boost salaries in the sector by up to 28% in roles such as project engineer and environmental engineer, whilst a significant increase of between 5-16% has been experienced across engineering and manufacturing. Reassuringly perhaps, given recent job cut announcements in Belfast, a shortage of key skill sets has seen forward-thinking employers being more flexible in selecting candidates with transferable skills.

Overall Northern Ireland salaries saw a small but steady rise of around 2-5% across finance, HR, sales, marketing, manufacturing, engineering, supply chain and accountancy sectors, as employers continue to compete for skilled workers in a high-employment market, with some sectors and specific roles seeing significant salary increases and additional financial benefits.

Whilst monetary benefits such as bonuses of 3-10%, pensions, healthcare and life assurance are all on the increase this year, financial packages are not the only draw for candidates as benefits continue to play a key part in the attraction and retention of staff. Free on-site breakfasts, workplace gyms, free fruit, subsidised canteens and yoga sessions are just some of the popular perks being used to attract the best candidates. Improved work-life balance is still an important factor for staff as flexible ways of working are increasingly top of the agenda for both employers and job-seekers in an ever changing and diverse workforce.

Commenting on the latest figures, Cathal O Donnell, Regional Director at Brightwater, said: “The recruitment sector has always been a strong barometer of social and economic trends and this year’s salary survey continues to reflect wider issues and predict future developments.

“Whilst uncertainty surrounding a deal and the ongoing impasse at Stormont may slow things somewhat for the first quarter of 2019, the signs are that Northern Ireland will become a far more attractive place to do business which is good news for jobs.

“Belfast’s reputation for Centres of Excellence has done much for the economic landscape and has reinforced the region as a highly desirable place for foreign direct investment.