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‘Attracting And Retaining Appropriately Skilled Labour’

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By Chamber Press Office, 03 May 2023

‘Attracting And Retaining Appropriately Skilled Labour’ is the Single Greatest Threat Facing Dublin Businesses This Year

Skills and labour shortages have repeatedly ranked as a top issue for Dublin businesses in recent years, with ‘Attracting and retaining appropriately skilled labour’ reported as the single greatest threat facing Dublin businesses within Dublin Chamber’s latest Business Outlook Report. Unsurprisingly, almost three in four firms have also stated that ‘attracting/retaining/upskilling staff’ is their number one priority for the year ahead for the second consecutive year.

Dublin Chamber’s Director of Public and International Affairs, Aebhric McGibney said, “We’re hearing from Dublin firms that several factors, particularly childcare expenses and the lack of affordable housing, are driving current labour shortages. Several firms have also noted that their growth post-Covid is back on track, but during what should be a crucial recovery period, they are saying no to business opportunities, as they simply don’t have the staff needed to deliver the necessary outputs to meet demand. Dublin Chamber calls on Government to build more houses in the city region and to ensure that a more steady supply of accommodation comes from existing zoned and serviced land. More can be done to improve the labour force participation of women in particular, by removing the barriers preventing people from returning to work and reducing the cost of childcare.” 

A third of Dublin businesses also report that they intend to offer apprenticeships this year as a means of accessing new talent pools. When firms were asked what their main motivations for offering apprenticeships are, many noted it as a recruitment tool for new talent to meet the skills gaps of their businesses while encouraging company loyalty.  

Mr. McGibney commented “We also asked firms that do not intend to offer apprenticeships this year to share why. The most widely chosen reason was that it is ‘difficult to identify an apprenticeship that meets the needs of our business/compliments current activities’ (31%) followed by ‘NA/Unsure’ (28%), ‘our business can’t meet the needs of the apprenticeship curriculum/necessary learning outcomes’ (22%), and ‘limited knowledge of apprenticeship process/supports in place” (13%). It is interesting to note from these results that the main reasons firms are not becoming apprentice employers has less to do with financial capacity, though undoubtedly a challenge, and more to do with a lack of knowledge and bureaucratic barriers. Dublin Chamber will continue to lobby for the needs of Dublin Chamber members in this area.”

The results of Dublin Chamber’s Q1 2023 Business Outlook Survey were widely reported on within the media, some of which can be viewed below:

  • The Irish Times (see here and here)
  • RTE (see here)
  • Business Post (see here)
  • Newstalk (see here)
  • 98fm (see here)
  • FM104 (see here)
  • Q102 (see here)
  • Business Plus (see here)
  • Soundbite on FM104’s News Bulletin   
  • Interview with Shane Beatty on Newstalk’s Breakfast Briefing
  • Interview with Matt Cooper on FM104’s The Last Word
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