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Waterford and the wider South East region is currently experiencing a range of labour vacancies, with as many as 600 positions available in ICT, Engineering, Life Sciences, Pharma and Medical Devices. This underlines that industries are now identifying areas outside of the overheating Dublin economy in which to site work, employing staff in parts of the country with cheaper housing, less commuting and, on the whole, a more attractive lifestyle.
Speaking to this newspaper, Alan Quirke, who is the Director of the Ireland South East Development Office (which is funded by the region’s five local authorities), said that there are now over 12,000 people in the South East employed by Pharma, Medical Device and Life Science firms.
Growth, he noted, has been recorded across a range of areas, including Pharma and Engineering, with firms such as Bausch + Lomb, West Pharma and MSD (in Ballydine, Carrick-on-Suir) expanding, along with Glanbia in Belview.
The ICT sector has risen from employing 3,500 at the end of 2012 to 5,700 in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, with Mr Quirke noting the successes of Nearform in Tramore, Routematch and RedHat, in addition to the impact that’s been made by the Crystal Valley Tech brand.
There is too much talk of negativity about jobs, according to Mr Quirke, in terms of how Dublin is doing and the South East isn’t doing when the jobs evidence on the ground reveals a growth in skilled areas, which could readily change the local and regional conversation. Interestingly, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), construction numbers across the region at the end of last year came to 13,600. Minister Heather Humphreys is due to launch the South East Regional Enterprise Plan in Waterford on Friday, March 22nd