Lobbying in Action 01/02/24

Back to Articles

28 February 2024

At the end of January, Dublin Chamber met with Secretary General Colm O’Reardon to discuss the importance of revitalising and modernising the apprenticeship framework as part of a suite of solution-focused strategies to address the strained availability of skilled labour. Dublin Chamber’s Q1 2023 Business Outlook Survey revealed that already a third of Dublin businesses are turning towards apprenticeships to tap into emerging talent pools as a solution to the current skills crisis. However, barriers, primarily rooted in knowledge gaps and bureaucratic challenges rather than financial constraints, deter many from embracing apprenticeships. This feedback directly informed the conversation had with the Secretary General in the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on how to improve the current apprenticeship structure for would be apprentice employers.

Dublin Chamber President, Siobhan O’Shea, gave her inaugural speech as the 135th President of Dublin Chamber to an audience of over 600 business leaders, the audience also included Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, and Senator Regina Doherty. O’ Shea, while optimistic, highlighted several of Dublin’s vulnerabilities, which included housing, skills, transport, energy and water. The availability of skilled labour was a core issue within the speech, as was the importance of diversity, not only for business but for civic society. It was stated that protecting this diversity is critical in retaining Dublin’s competitiveness abroad. Safety must be addressed, with good governance going a long way in this respect. To this end, Dublin Chamber continues to advocate for a directly elected Mayor for Dublin to take ownership of this issue. Read Siobhan's speech in full here

During the event, Dublin Chamber CEO, Mary Rose Burke urged that decisions makers must be cognisant of the legislative burden that comes with a new European Commission. SMEs, part of the driving force of Dublin’s and Europe’s economies must be assisted and not burdened by increased bureaucracy, as business within Dublin strives to remain competitive. With Ireland currently ranking among the lowest in Europe under the Local Autonomy Index (LAI), Burke was quick to point out that we can, and should do better. 

European elections were in mind for Dublin Chamber CEO, Mary Rose Burke, with Burke calling for increased connectivity, which is central to Dublin Chamber’s asks in Europe. There must be assurances that Dublin Airport and Dublin Port can facilitate this increase in connectivity and be allowed to grow restraint free. You can read Mary Rose's AGM address in full here

At the beginning of February, Dublin Chamber travelled to Brussels as part of a Chambers Ireland delegation. The first day centred around meeting representatives of various DGs, from Energy and AI to Financial Stability, which culminated in discussing the Chamber’s Ireland European Manifesto with Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness. Dublin Chamber met with Ciaran Cuffe MEP and Billy Kelleher MEP to discuss the Chambers Ireland European Manifesto which is available to read here.

Throughout February, Dublin Chamber has actively engaged with Dublin City Council over a range of issues, while representing the voice of Dublin business on multiple forums and taskforces, such as the DCC Transport and Travel SPC, Joint Policing Committee, DCC Business Forum. Most recently, Dublin Chamber met with the CEO of DCC, Richard Shakespeare, and engaged in the DCC Co-Ordination meeting, setting out priorities for Dublin City over a range of issues for the rest of the year.

Water is one of the most fundamental needs of any society. However, Dublin Chamber President Siobhan O’Shea outlined how access to this resource is a vulnerability threatening Dublin. The River Liffey currently provides approximately 85% of the GDA’s water supply, emphasising the importance of Dublin Chamber’s continued promotion of the Water Supply Project for the Eastern and Midlands Region, and has actively engaged with Uisce Éireann this month on the Planning and Development Bill along with Abstraction Legislation.

Metrolink continues to be a priority for Dublin businesses with Dublin Chamber’s advocacy on the key infrastructure project remaining consistent. Metrolink has been at the core of previous Dublin Chamber Budget submissions for over a decade, as well as being a key recommendation of Dublin Chamber’s review of the National Planning Framework, available to read here. This month, Dublin Chamber has been invited for an oral hearing on Metrolink as a result of being a constant voice for Dublin business on this matter, with the hearing set to take place in next month.

Please login or register to post comments.
My HomeNews and MediaNewsletters