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Northern Ireland Protocol credited for helping to create 1,000 new jobs

Northern Ireland Protocol credited for helping to create 1,000 new jobs

The protocol, according to the Deputy First Minister, is to thank for Almac’s announcement that it will hire 1,000 people because it has dual market access.

In the next three years, the Almac Group, a Craigavon-based pharmaceutical development and production company, plans to hire 1,800 people worldwide, 1,000 of whom will be in Northern Ireland.

The development, according to Ms O’Neill, demonstrates the benefits of the protocol’s dual access, which allows Northern Ireland firms to sell without limits in both the UK internal market and the EU single market.

Almac, which was participating in clinical studies for Covid-19 vaccines last year, promotes the protocol’s “seamless, uninterrupted, and flexible” dual market access on its website.

Ms. O’Neill stated that the announcement had given the local economy a much-needed boost.

“The Almac announcement today is a very positive announcement in what is quite a challenging time for our economy because of the pandemic and because of the outworking of Brexit,” she said.

“So I think it’s very clear from the Almac statement today that they are benefiting from the protocol that they’re able to announce over 1,000 jobs to be created here. That’s a huge boost for us. So I very much welcome that.

“But that’s what the protocol does for us, it actually gives us that opportunity to have access to both markets.

“And Almac is a really good case in point of how it actually is working. So let’s find solutions and let’s create stability. Let’s have more announcements like the Almac announcement.”

The DUP praised the employment creation, but did not mention the protocol as a cause.

“This investment is crucial for the Upper Bann area,” said Upper Bann MLA Diane Dodds. It’s encouraging to see local firms flourish and create job possibilities for Northern Ireland graduates and workers.

“We are proud to have a world-leading company on our doorstep. Almac has played a significant role in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine and many other lifesaving medicines. I welcome the opportunities that this announcement will bring to many young graduates.”

The new positions encompass operational, supervisory, and management responsibilities, and they are open to both recent graduates and seasoned professionals.

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