20 October 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Ireland's FM industry has a lot to gain after Brexit, says the managing director of an FM firm.
Denis Egan, MD of Weston Facilities Services and BIFM Ireland committee member said: "Predictions signal increased investment in Ireland as a number of British-domiciled companies consider relocation here, translating into a higher demand for office space availability bringing an initial upswing to the growing construction and fit-out sector as well as long-term sustenance for both hard and soft FM services."
But he added that this is not to say that FM is immune to the Brexit-born barriers and potential legal restrictions that could arise from the decision.
Enterprises that currently operate across borders might find it becomes more difficult to recruit, retain or move employees from the UK to the EU and vice versa, which could give rise to skills gaps, an inability to service customers in relevant countries and a loss of talent. It is highly unlikely that legislation regarding health and safety, and energy performance will change significantly.
Egan added: "We can't conclude that Brexit will bring about positive outcomes in Ireland for all sectors in which FM operates.
"The Irish manufacturing industry, and the food sector in particular, which exports heavily to the UK, is likely to incur significant losses considering 40 per cent of indigenous manufacturing export is to the UK. The weaker sterling will also likely have a knock-on effect to the hotel and leisure industry as tourists look for better value for their euro or dollar, so the challenge for the FM teams in those sectors is quite different to those working in other industries that may benefit from Brexit.
"Combined with the release of the UK and Irish budgets, all industries, FM included, are poised in wait-and-see position post-Brexit."
The BIFM Ireland FM Summit - 'Workplace partnerships - Rethinking FM' is due to take place on Friday 25 November at Croke Park.