You don’t have to look very far to see that Limerick is currently one of Ireland’s regional success stories. A quick search shows a steady stream of investment announcements, job announcements, development plans, and more.
There is also a buzz in the city as well as expectations for the future. Much work needs to be done, of course, but the Limerick area presents exciting career opportunities, including in engineering disciplines.
Start of the Turnaround
While the city and region are currently on the up, things didn’t look great at the start of the recession about 10 years ago. This was a time when job losses and unemployment rates dominated the headlines as old industries lost ground in the economic crash.
Limerick approached these challenges with ambition, however, launching several initiatives and strategies, including the local authority’s Limerick 2030 development plan. Its aim is to make the city and the region a key business centre in Ireland.
This is proving successful, with a combination of both local and international companies, including some of the world’s biggest corporations, investing in the region.
In fact, research by IrishJobs.ie at the end of 2017 found that Limerick had the highest rate of job creation growth in the country. While the growth rate in Ireland as a whole was 3 percent, in Limerick the figure was 43 percent, well ahead of other strongly performing areas like Galway (16 percent) and Dublin (9 percent).
In addition, almost every week sees an important new announcement. Earlier this year, for example, the Shannon Foynes Port Company unveiled a €100m framework strategy that could see the redevelopment of 75 acres of land on Limerick’s docklands.
Looking to the Future
These announcements by local and international companies and organisations to invest in Limerick are important for the future, not least because Limerick is seen as a crucial location in Project Ireland 2040. Project Ireland 2040 is the Government’s policy initiative aimed at improving the country over the long-term.
Crucially, this initiative looks at social outcomes and values in addition to more black and white economic targets. A key part of Project Ireland 2040 is creating a more balanced country that is not as heavily weighted towards Dublin as it is now.
Munster’s three main cities – Cork, Limerick, and Waterford – are key to achieving this goal. As a result, experts predict Limerick will experience rapid infrastructure, economic, and social expansion between now and 2040.
A centrepiece of these expansion goals is the planned €1bn M20 motorway connecting Limerick and Cork. In January, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the planned new road was crucial, describing the M20 link between Cork, Limerick, and Galway as being “important for balanced regional development”.
Manufacturing Leading the Way
Manufacturing is leading the development, expansion, and economic growth of Limerick, a position that looks set to continue. In fact, according to figures from the 2016 census, of the 77,000 people employed in Limerick, 11 thousand are employed in the manufacturing sector. This makes manufacturing the largest employment sector in Limerick, ahead of wholesale and retail which was in second place.
What does that mean for you as an engineer working and specialising in the manufacturing sector? The strength of the sector currently, and the future prospects for the sector, make Limerick the ideal location for furthering your career, whether you have a connection with the area or not.
If you want to find out more about engineering career opportunities in Limerick, check out our careers page today.