Time to step up support for companies locating outside Dublin

Posted: 16 Jul 2019

Time to step up support for companies locating outside Dublin

With Dublin overcrowded and overpriced, it is time for policy makers to step up efforts to bring FDI to the regions, says Eolas Recruitment.

While Dublin was recently ranked the number one large city in the world for foreign direct investment, there is huge pressure on accommodation in the capital. Eolas Recruitment increasingly finds that good candidates are unable to take up roles because they cannot afford to pay €2,000-€3,000 per month in rent.

Admittedly, over the last five years, the IDA has placed more emphasis on regional development. However, Dublin continues to absorb too much FDI, leading to pressure on accommodation and long commutes which are off-putting for candidates in a competitive jobs market.

With the capital overcrowded and overpriced, efforts need to be stepped up to attract and promote FDI in the regions—not just to alleviate Dublin’s problems, but also to support regeneration of the rural economy.

We believe there is a keen appetite among workers to locate outside the capital. Take the recent example of Center Parcs in Longford. If they can fill 700 jobs across a wide range of disciplines, it is difficult to understand why more companies can’t follow suit. Indeed, given the choice, our experience is that many candidates would prefer return to their native counties.

In Wicklow, 74% of those who completed a recent commuter survey said they were unhappy with their commute and 70% would be likely or very likely to consider switching to a job in County Wicklow if one were available. More than a third would consider a lower salary if it meant they could work closer to home.

Eolas Recruitment is not alone in arguing for a change of emphasis at policy level to make the regions more attractive for companies. The ESRI recently said that affordable housing and other amenities should be provided in second-tier cities and that increasing the scale of these cities would allow them and their wider hinterland to generate more start-up firms and attract more FDI.

With Ireland at full employment, we cannot afford to lose skills due to the cost of living in the capital. Now is the time for policy makers to step up and do more to support employment in the regions.

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