Annual Ibec/CBI Northern Ireland All-Island Economy Conference to discuss energy and skills challenges

December 07, 2022

Business leaders from across the all-island economy will gather in Dundalk on Wednesday, 7 December for the annual Ibec/CBI Northern Ireland All-Island Economy Conference. The conference will explore the importance of maintaining a dynamic all island labour market, as well as underpinning a sustainable and joined-up all-island energy supply, if we are to successfully navigate emerging economic challenges. 

Opening the Conference, Ibec CEO Danny McCoy will tell delegates: “The island of Ireland faces several economic headwinds but is positioned to successfully navigate them. More joined up all-island policy actions will support business in both jurisdictions to meet these challenges and take the shared opportunities presented.”

Setting out the Ibec/CBI Joint Business Council’s priorities for 2023, CBI NI Chair Elaine Birchall says: “Northern Ireland faces severe challenges in terms of productivity, skills and energy decarbonisation requirements.  There is an obvious opportunity for greater all-island coordination on these critical issues to ensure that businesses North, South, East and West can collaboratively tackle the challenges and partner to exploit potential opportunities.  It is only by working together, both North-South, and East-West with our counterparts in the UK, that we can reap the rewards for both economies.”

The Ibec/CBI Northern Ireland Joint Business Council is developing all-island solutions for strategic co-operation and partnership to support all-island business, particularly on its priority issues of skills and energy. The conference features contributions on:

The role of skills which delivers crucial productivity gains for both jurisdictions, but especially Northern Ireland.
Challenges and opportunities for all-island Higher and Further Education, including harnessing better collaboration and partnerships to support business and strengthen the all-island labour market.
A labour mobility strategy for the island to resolve frictions that have emerged in a post Brexit / post pandemic island.
Opportunities for life-long learning initiatives and the role of modular learning for future all-island skills.
Securing sustainable and joined up all-island energy policies to meet industry and decarbonisation needs.
Recognising the important role the Single Electricity Market has played in ensuring security of supply and more efficient pricing for industry and households in both jurisdictions
The need to expand all-island collaboration to incorporate renewables and gas and ensure that both sides of the island are identifying and maximising all potential benefits for business and households. 
Identifying the deficit in all-island leadership when it comes to industry’s decarbonisation goals, energy security and horizon scanning for future challenges and green growth opportunities.