23 April 2018
By Mary Bermingham
- Cork sees 63% increase in ICT employment in 5 years
- 2000+ new job creation in South West ICT sector year on year
- it@Cork AGM hears of Cork’s robust business proposition:
over 1 million square foot of office space coming on stream in the next 12 months
- 20% lower cost of living than in Dublin
- 50% of the population aged under 35
- home to 35,000 students in institutes like CIT and UCC
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 it@Cork 21st AGM which was held Thursday April 19th at the River Lee Hotel in Cork. It@cork 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 it@Cork addressed 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 in the with 59 Enterprise Ireland supported companies located here.”
it@Cork 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 regions as effective counterbalances 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.”
IT@Cork 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 it@cork.
Improved diversity at board level with over 40% women on the Board and 60% on the Executive Management Committee
What is it@cork?
it@cork is a leading not-for-profit independent business organisation, representing the interests of the IT industry in Ireland. It is a unique blend of indigenous and international IT professionals, executives, multinationals, government leaders, public sector, academia, entrepreneurs, investors, and the legal and financial professional services community, who have joined together to drive thought leadership, collaboration and global strategic alliances.
It currently represents over 300-member companies with over 30,000 employees.
“Our mission is to act as a facilitator between public, private and academic bodies to help drive effective collaboration, and to deliver value for our members by being an impactful and influential voice for the IT community in our region”.