Northern Ireland

Wrightbus head hopeful on NI manufacturing sector

Wrightbus chief executive Mark Nodder
Image caption Mark Nodder said he was hopeful that Northern Ireland's manufacturers would continue to be competitive

The head of one of Northern Ireland's leading companies has said he remains optimistic about the manufacturing sector despite recent job losses.

More than 1,000 redundancies have been announced in the last two weeks.

Tyre manufacturer Michelin is to close its County Antrim factory and engineering firm Caterpillar will reduce its Northern Ireland operation.

Mark Nodder, of bus builder Wrightbus, said Northern Ireland firms should build on individual strengths.

"I'm not pessimistic about this, I'm optimistic," he told BBC Radio Ulster's Inside Business programme.

Skilled

"I tend to think we can compete, but it needs to be on quality and value - it's not on the hourly rate.

"We'll never compete with China and India on hourly rate.

"It's what we do with our precious commodity of labour and our skilled resources."

Ulster University's economic policy centre predicted last week that manufacturing employment in Northern Ireland is likely to grow over the next decade.

It said the sector could add between 8,000 and 14,000 jobs by 2025.

Related Topics

More on this story