Ireland leads the world for availability of skilled labour

31 May 2012

Ireland has topped the world in a number of key competitiveness milestones, according to top-ranked Switzerland-based business school IMD, including availability of skilled labour, flexibility of its workforce, investment incentives and attitudes to globalisation.

In terms of overall ranking, Hong Kong topped the world, followed by the US and Switzerland and Ireland came in at 20th place, up four places from last year.

But Ireland achieved the following key goals that rank it ideal for foreign direct investment (FDI) activity:

  • First for availability of skilled labour
  • First for flexibility and adaptability of workforce
  • First for investment incentives
  • First for attitudes towards globalisation
  • Second for business legislation – openness to foreign investors
  • Second for large corporations that are efficient by international standards
  • Second for adaptability of companies
  • Fourth for corporate tax rate on profit and real corporate taxes

Ireland is the best place to invest in Western Europe

The results come just a week after both Dublin and Ireland were named the best places in Western Europe to invest by international magazine Site Selection.

They also come on the heel of this week’s 2012 Talent Shortage Survey, published by the Manpower Group, which ranked Ireland as the global leader for the availability of skills and the least difficult location, globally, in which to find talent.

In addition to these surveys, the latest International Construction Intelligence report, issued by Faithful and Gould, shows that the index construction cost in Ireland, at 91.3, is less than Singapore (94.8), US/Chicago (100), UK (109.5) and Switzerland (155.2).

“Competition for foreign direct investment is significantly increasing and the availability of skilled labour is, amongst other things, one of the main deciding factors when companies are choosing a location for their overseas investments,” Barry O’Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, explained.

O’Leary said the fact that Ireland continues to lead the way in availability of skilled labour adds significantly to its reputation as a host for FDI and the outlook for maintaining this position in the future remains positive.

For example, greater availability of computer and software personnel will be a key feature for investors in Ireland over the coming years.

“This is due to the increase in the numbers enrolling in computer, software courses and conversion courses in universities and institutes of technology across the country. Uptake of undergraduate computer courses has experienced a 40pc increase in the last four years, with the first of these additional students, at honours-degree level, coming into the employment market this summer,” O’Leary said.

“IDA Ireland in its strategy Horizon 2020, identifies the strengthening of Ireland’s value proposition as one of its main targets. The excellent rankings of Ireland in these surveys shows that the country’s value proposition as a location for FDI is constantly improving,” O’Leary added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years