Labour Force and Skills
With a growing population of over 66,000 and a geographic area of 500,000 acres (202,430ha), a skilled and flexible labour force of 31,733 - outstanding education facilities including third level LIT Tipperary - North Tipperary is an ideal area for further investment in property and technology solutions to meet the needs of modern industry.
The region is serviced by excellent rail, road and air connections and with so many having to commute considerable distances to work on a daily basis (see CSO figures below) perhaps by facilitating inward growth and innovation with superb state of art accommodation and connectivity solutions employment may be secured nearer to home.
The table below illustrates individuals, (males & females at work aged 15 years and over), classified by County of usual residence and the distance travelled to work on a daily basis.
|Resident||Total Distance||0-km||2 - 4 km||5 - 9 km||10 - 14km||15 - 24 km||25 - 49 km||50 km & over||not stated|
Developing the Shannon Development Knowledge Network – a network of leading edge technology business locations with direct linkages to third level educational institutions - continues to be a success story for the Shannon Region and North Tipperary. Thurles, with a population of 7,682 (town and rural environs) is home to Tipperary Technology Park. The two buildings on campus comprise 25,000 sqft in total. There are 11 companies operating from the site and a total of 140 employed.
Located in the heart of Co. Tipperary, Thurles has a catchment area of over 400,000 people and a labour force of over 90,000 within a 30 mile radius.
Skills and Education
The Shannon Region has a relative concentration of graduates in the workforce with qualifications in the areas of Engineering & Architecture, Medical Sciences, Education, and Business Law & Social Sciences. The Region is home to one University and a two Institutes of Technology, located in Limerick and Tralee. The LIT Tipperary also provides tertiary education in Thurles & Clonmel.
University of Limerick
The University of Limerick is an energetic and enterprising university with a record of innovation in education and excellence in research and scholarship. In responding to Ireland’s emerging knowledge economy and the technological advances of Irish industry and business, the University has gradually deepened and intensified the level and sophistication of its academic programmes. The University of Limerick has a student population of approximately 13,000 students and six schools of focus;
- Business (Accounting, Insurance, Management, Economics, Marketing, etc.)
- Sciences (Environmental, Life, and Sports Sciences, Physics, Nursing, Speech Therapy, etc.)
- Humanities (History, Languages, Law, Politics, Arts, etc.)
- Engineering (Architecture, Materials Science, Mechanical & Aeronautical engineering, etc.)
- Informatics and Electronics (Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Mathematics, etc.)
- Education (Primary and Second level education)
The University has established a number of internationally respected research institutes, such as:
- The Materials and Surface Science Institute
- The Stokes Institute for Biofluidics and Micromechanical Engineering
- The Lero Institute for Software Engineering
Limerick Institute of Technology
In recent years there has been an increasingly relevant role for Institutes of Technology in the development of the region, and the development of a knowledge-based economy with labour market demands for highly qualified graduates. The Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) has approximately 3,600 students, the majority of which are pursuing courses in the area of Science, Engineering and IT. The Institute has four main faculties;
- Art & Design (Painting, Printing, Fashion, Visual Communications)
- Built Environment (Construction, Civil Engineering, Quantity Surveying)
- Business & Humanities (Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Management, Tourism, Social Studies)
- Science, Engineering & IT (Mechanical, Electronic, Automotive and Software Engineering, SCM, Applied Chemistry, Applied Biosciences, Biotechnology, Drug Analysis)
The Institute has identified the following centres as research priority areas:
- Bio sciences - Midwest Bioanalysis Research Centre
- Renewable Energy Control Systems – Envirosense Research Centre
Institute of Technology Tralee
The Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) in North Kerry has a student population of approximately 3,500. ITT has three schools; Business and Social Studies, Engineering and Construction and Science and Computing. ITT shares its North Campus with the Kerry Technology Park, a business park run by Shannon Development which incorporates a large business incubation facility.
The LIT Tipperary has Campuses in both Clonmel and Thurles, offering full time degree and part time courses in the areas of Business Studies, ICT (Software Development, Multimedia and Communication), and Rural Development. Thurles is targeting in particular technology companies in the areas of digital media, software, web based/ internet, hardware, telesales, financial services and animation.
Progress has been made on delivering broadband connectivity to all parts of the Shannon Region – urban and rural. This was achieved through Shannon Broadband, Ireland’s first regional broadband company established by Shannon Development in partnership with the region’s local authorities. A fibre-based metropolitan area network (MAN) has been completed in Limerick City, Nenagh, Templemore, Kilrush, Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale, Banagher, Birr and Roscrea.