West still well placed for growth

West still well placed for growth

West still well placed for growth

By Matt Britton

The Western Region is well placed to achieve strong future growth, thanks to the investments of recent years and its educated and skilled workforce. In order to optimise that potential, not only for the good of the region but for national growth and recovery, continued improvements in infrastructure, innovation and the ‘3Es' (enterprise, employment and education) are vital.

Gillian Buckley, Acting Chief Executive and Investment Manager of the Western Development Commission said: "We wanted to look at how the recession has impacted on the region and how this compared with other parts of the country. But more importantly we wanted to examine how the region is positioned for future growth, specifically in those critical areas that will unlock its growth potential."

The Briefing reiterates that infrastructure is a fundamental building block for regional development. Despite very substantial improvements in the past decade the Western Region continues to lag the rest of the state.

On employment, the figures show that rising unemployment since 2007 has been quite concentrated in construction, agriculture and industry. However, over the same period employment grew in some sectors, notably information and communications services, with 3,400 more people working in the sector in 2010 than 2007.

"Further diversification of the employment base and expansion of the knowledge economy are key to the region's and country's economic future. Our interpretation is that although knowledge sector employment is currently lower in the region, there is real potential for expansion. The region's quality of life makes it attractive for knowledge and creative workers.

Tourism and hospitality continue to play a big role, with the Western Region employing 1 in 5 of all those working in the sector in Ireland. "Efforts to drive increasing tourist numbers into Ireland must include highlighting the region's many tourism assets. Any increase in visitors here will create jobs and that's the top priority at the moment" continued Ms White.

A region's human resource is recognised internationally as its key asset. The data show considerable improvements in the Western Region. Coming from a position of lagging the national average, the share with a third level qualification in the region is now about the same as the national average.

A recent decline in the region's younger aged population shows however that some young people are choosing to leave the region. "The region's people are its greatest asset. During the boom the region's ‘brain drain' was reversed, but it now seems to be returning. The Western Region's main priority for the future must be to provide the employment, education and enterprise opportunities needed to encourage our young people to stay. Our future prospects depend on it" concluded Ms. Buckley.

The Western Region is well placed to achieve strong future growth, thanks to the investments of recent years and its educated and skilled workforce. In order to optimise that potential, not only for the good of the region but for national growth and recovery, continued improvements in infrastructure, innovation and the ‘3Es' (enterprise, employment and education) are vital.

Gillian Buckley, Acting Chief Executive and Investment Manager of the Western Development Commission said: "We wanted to look at how the recession has impacted on the region and how this compared with other parts of the country. But more importantly we wanted to examine how the region is positioned for future growth, specifically in those critical areas that will unlock its growth potential."

The Briefing reiterates that infrastructure is a fundamental building block for regional development. Despite very substantial improvements in the past decade the Western Region continues to lag the rest of the state.

On employment, the figures show that rising unemployment since 2007 has been quite concentrated in construction, agriculture and industry. However, over the same period employment grew in some sectors, notably information and communications services, with 3,400 more people working in the sector in 2010 than 2007.

"Further diversification of the employment base and expansion of the knowledge economy are key to the region's and country's economic future. Our interpretation is that although knowledge sector employment is currently lower in the region, there is real potential for expansion. The region's quality of life makes it attractive for knowledge and creative workers.

Tourism and hospitality continue to play a big role, with the Western Region employing 1 in 5 of all those working in the sector in Ireland. "Efforts to drive increasing tourist numbers into Ireland must include highlighting the region's many tourism assets. Any increase in visitors here will create jobs and that's the top priority at the moment" continued Ms White.

A region's human resource is recognised internationally as its key asset. The data show considerable improvements in the Western Region. Coming from a position of lagging the national average, the share with a third level qualification in the region is now about the same as the national average.

A recent decline in the region's younger aged population shows however that some young people are choosing to leave the region. "The region's people are its greatest asset. During the boom the region's ‘brain drain' was reversed, but it now seems to be returning. The Western Region's main priority for the future must be to provide the employment, education and enterprise opportunities needed to encourage our young people to stay. Our future prospects depend on it" concluded Ms. Buckley.