Capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in Cork, according to Ibec, the group that represents Irish business. There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.
The call came as Ibec hosted leading voices in regional business at Fota Island Resort in Cork as part of its Regional Insights Series. The Series, sponsored by ESB and OpenEir, heard from expert speakers including Ibec’s CEO, Danny McCoy, members of the Ibec Executive Director Team, and leading voices in businesses in Cork to explore new ways to drive regenerative growth in the region.
The series presents a unique opportunity for senior business leaders and key stakeholders to get insights, share ideas and discuss the pressing challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for businesses in the region.
Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the Cork include: Improving accessibility to the region; Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges; Adapting businesses to the new economic realities; Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives; Investment in people and skills; Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation; Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth; A fresh take on the drivers of economic prosperity.
Ibec’s Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “Ibec’s vision for Cork is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.
“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” she said.