2000+ new job creation in South West ICT sector year on year
Cork has witnessed a 63% increase in employment in tech companies in the last 5 years, with 13,000 workers currently employed in 61 IDA support companies in the region. How Cork has established itself as a Tech Hub was discussed at the [email protected] 21st AGM which was held last night (Thursday April 19th ) at the River Lee Hotel in Cork. [email protected] is a not-for-profit independent business organisation, representing the interests of the IT industry in Cork and throughout the country.
Caroline O’Driscoll, Chair of [email protected] addressed last night’s attendees: “It is without doubt that Cork’s ICT sector is playing a key role in the economic engine of this city and county. 86% of our member companies are planning employment growth in the next 3 years, and a remarkable 22% of those companies are planning job growth of at least 25%. Entrepreneurship is pivotal to the successes we are currently witnessing it the with 59 Enterprise Ireland supported companies located here.”
[email protected] say the pace of growth and opportunity for development are strong. Cork has over 1 million square foot of office space coming on-stream in the next 12 months, with office rentals averaging half of Dublin.
Ms. O Driscoll said Cork can offer companies a robust business proposition on many fronts: “The cost of living here is almost 20% lower than in Dublin. We have a young talented workforce with 50% of the population of Cork aged under 35, and we are home to 35,000 students in institutes like CIT and UCC.”
Ms. O Driscoll warned however that complacency would be a folly they will not fall foul of:
“There is still a lot of work to be done. Our members have voiced concerns to us over the global STEM but this is an opportunity for us too. Ireland has the highest amount of STEM graduates in Europe which puts us at a competitive advantage. We must continue to focus on our education system to future-proof the Tech sector. Initiatives like Cork-born Coder Dojo and I Wish show the power of the community to help our young people gain the STEM skills they will need for the jobs of tomorrow.
“We welcome Project Ireland 2040 and the drive from central Government to grow the region as effective counter balances to Dublin, with Cork set to become the fastest-growing region in Ireland. An overheated capital city or an underutilised region is ultimately bad for Ireland Inc. This represents a huge opportunity for Cork, but we must ensure that we action these ambitions and have the appropriate infrastructure in place particularly housing and transport which are issues keenly felt by our members. This is also an opportunity for our planners to embrace the possibility of technology and to truly create tech enabled connected smart city.”
[email protected] 2017 – 2018 Highlights
- 15 EVENTS over the past year, attended by almost 2,000 people including the annual Tech Summit, Leaders awards, Diversity in Tech lunches and the relaunched Tech Talk series.
- A successful application for funding for a CLUSTER MANAGER under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund, supported by Enterprise Ireland, which will be match-funded by the cash reserves already accumulated by [email protected]
- Improved diversity at board level with over 40% women on the Board and 60% on the Executive Management Committee
Ms. O Driscoll concluded last night’s address by stressing the importance of people in Cork’s fortune for the future:
“It is PEOPLE who really make a difference. I am certain that Cork will continue to shine brightly as the Tech Capital of Europe.”