Moving to the Midlands Vs. Moving to Dublin
The recent release of Daft.ie’s latest Rental Report showed that in Dublin, rents are 6.8% higher than a year ago. National recruitment agency, Matrix Recruitment Group is encouraging both businesses and job candidates to look to at Moving to the Midlands for their next move.
Breda Dooley, Recruitment Branch Manager of Matrix Recruitment Athlone, said: ‘There is a common misconception that Dublin is the only location where people can find a well-paid job. But counties such as Westmeath, Offaly and Longford are highly sought-after locations for both domestic and international businesses. The business environment in these areas is buoyant and we are seeing more global companies looking beyond the capital and to the major towns, such as Athlone. All the indications are showing that a move to the Midlands makes good business sense for a number of reasons.
‘One of Dublin’s greatest ills is its property prices. According to Daft.ie’s latest rental report, average rent prices in Dublin range from €1,671 to €2,190. This is in stark contrast to rental properties in the Midlands where the average rent in Longford is €693, Offaly €884 and Westmeath €995. If people cannot afford to live in Dublin or simply can’t find a place to rent, they will have to look elsewhere – and they already are.’
Many people working in Dublin are making two and three-hour daily commutes to the capital and that’s simply not sustainable according to Breda Dooley. ‘However, for businesses, the up-side of this situation is that there is already a strong and growing talent pool of highly-educated and skilled workers in the Midlands. We know from speaking to many of them that they are looking to address their work/life balance and a reduction in commuting times is their first priority,’ she says.
‘Job candidates can sometimes be blind-sided by Dublin, believing it’s the only place to earn a competitive salary in Ireland, but this isn’t the case. The Midlands is thriving. There is a wide selection of both indigenous and international companies operating in the area across a number of sectors such as financial services, pharmaceutical, technology and hospitality.
‘These companies have made a strategic decision to locate their businesses in the region as not only does it offer cost-effective housing solutions, but it also offers cost-effective, high-quality commercial property solutions.’
Its strategic location means that the Midlands is perfectly suited to provide direct access to airports and ports and the transport infrastructure provides for strong connectivity to other parts of the country – including Dublin.
Centre of learning
Complemented by Universities and Institutes of Technology and, with tens of thousands of students graduating in the region annually, the Midlands is an oft-overlooked centre of education and learning. The third level institutions are hugely supportive of local industry, offering extensive research capabilities together with the capacity to build industry links.
There is a strong culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship and the area also has a rich tradition of culture, making it a very attractive proposition for employers and employees alike.
Job opportunities in the Midlands
For job hunters or those looking to move away from the major cities, Matrix Recruitment is constantly on the look-out for candidates to fill roles in the Midlands including engineers, quality managers, financial analysts, accountants, R&D Specialists and those looking for a career in hospitality.
Breda Dooley said: ‘Working outside Dublin does not mean you have to give up a high-profile, rewarding career. Opportunities for growth and development are the same as any in the capital and as we see more companies continuing to invest in the region, we expect that the diversity of roles on offer will expand alongside this.
‘Without a doubt the lower cost of living associated with the Midland counties is an attractive reason to move to the region. While Dublin is once again ‘booming’, prices are booming too, and this presents many challenges for those looking to rent or save for a mortgage.’
The right move for you?
Breda Dooley concluded: ‘Moving to the Midlands is not necessarily the panacea businesses or job seekers are looking for. It will not solve economic woes, but it can relieve the financial strains often associated with operating from or living in Dublin and does offer a fantastic quality of life.
‘Our Midlands office is seeing an increase in financially competitive and rewarding roles in the region, particularly in Athlone and, as more companies choose to set up outside of Dublin, career prospects in the region are set to grow even further over the next couple of years.
So, my advice as someone who has established offices in both Dublin and the Midlands is to look beyond the Pale, consider the benefits of alternative cities and town, be aware of any downsides but know for sure that the Midlands is open for business.