Ireland’s Midlands is quickly becoming an attractive location for large mulitnational companies because of the young, highly-qualified and experienced workforce based in the area. 

Young professionals are forcing multinational companies to consider locating to Ireland’s midlands, according to the Midlands Skills Survey, which was carried out by Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR Services Group in association with IDA Ireland.

The survey was carried out to give employers – and potential employers considering setting up in the region – a snapshot of the current talent pool available in the Midlands region. A total of 452 people employed across various sectors in the region responded.

A significant finding within the report, which would appeal to large companies looking to relocate, was that almost three quarters of respondents were qualified to honours degree level or above, with the majority falling within the 25-44 age category.

“There has never been a better time for employers to establish a base in the Midlands or for employees to progress their career here”

Another interesting finding in the report was the large range of languages being spoken by a multilingual workforce in the region, which include Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Russian, Polish and Italian.

The report also demonstrates the range of industries in the region with those surveyed working in varied sectors from pharma or biopharma, ICT/computing or software, medical devices/medical technology, professional services and marketing/market research.

Respondents were also very positive about their experiences of working in the Midlands with 70pc saying that they had experienced an increase in salary in the last 12 months. A further 75pc said they felt they could progress their career into a more senior role with their current employer and believe the Midlands could offer them the opportunities to fulfil their career aspirations.

“This survey proves that the Midlands has a highly-qualified and skilled workforce across a range of sectors to meet the high-end jobs that are coming into the region”

Athlone Institute of Technology has a strong influence on the region, working closely with industry to provide skills needed, so it was no surprise that a total of 88% said that they were confident that the Midlands could offer opportunities for graduates to take up employment in the future.

Employees in the region also said they enjoy a good work-life balance, with the main benefits of living and working in the Midlands being the quality of life, a safer environment and a reduced cost of living. A total of 93pc of those surveyed said they would recommend living and working in the Midlands.

“The enterprise base in the region is thriving, dynamic and innovative, with an impressive range of companies across all industry sectors”

Mary Mullin, regional manager at Collins McNicholas said, “There has never been a better time for employers to establish a base in the Midlands or for employees to progress their career here. This survey proves that the Midlands has a highly-qualified and skilled workforce across a range of sectors to meet the high-end jobs that are coming into the region from companies setting up here as well as those thinking of establishing a second site here.

“Within 25 minutes of Athlone, there is an extensive supply of talent currently working in various sectors including the more established sectors of medtech, pharma and biopharma but also in the emerging sectors such as ICT and shared services. The skilled and multilingual talent, evident from the report, has played a part in attracting many multinationals to establish a base here.”

Ken Whitelaw, regional manager with Midlands IDA added, “The enterprise base in the region is thriving, dynamic and innovative, with an impressive range of companies across all industry sectors. Particular strengths lie in life sciences, technology, global business services, international financial services and engineering.

“Companies benefit from the deep pool of talent in the area, but many have an ongoing need for suitably qualified and experienced staff. It is known that a significant number of people commute out of the region for work each day; it is therefore hoped that this skills survey will help companies recognise that the talent exists in their region, and demonstrate for job seekers that there are many exciting opportunities available in the Midlands.”

A total of 452 respondents working in the region across various sectors were used as the basis for this survey, which took place from February – March 2019. The respondents were chosen from across multiple sectors in order to get the broadest possible viewpoint of all industries across the region.

Written by Stephen Larkin

Published: 19 September, 2019

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