Young workers look overseas

A SURVEY from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) shows that 88% of young Irish employees have a desire to work abroad; a figure which is nearly 10% higher than the EU average.

Such a trend amongst the so-called ‘generation Y’ demographic (generally those born between 1980 and 2000) is not viewed as being solely recession-based and could pose serious challenges to domestic-based companies, who are increasingly coming around to the idea that having the right talent is key to growth.

“One of the biggest challenges organisations will face, post-recession, is motivating the workforce in an era of new customer demands and changing risk requirements,” said Mark Carter, HR services partner at PwC. “Galvanising employees with the right skills and experience will be critical to operating and competing effectively in this new emerging environment.”

According to Cecilia Ronan, HR director at Citi Ireland, who also attended PwC’s HR Business Breakfast Briefing yesterday, a flight away from Ireland of the country’s emerging talent pool could hinder foreign direct investment (FDI) levels into the country.

“Employers must create the right conditions to engage, retain and develop tomorrow’s workers, whether they’re required to work in the Irish or foreign markets.

“Up to now, one of this country’s attractions for US and other multinational employers has been the strength and the flexibility of our workforce. But a key issue for the future is whether multinational employers will find sufficient people with the right skills to ensure business success in Ireland,” she said. “Apart from continuing to produce our own strong supply of well-educated graduates, if Ireland is to become an even more attractive corporate location, we also need to attract more than our share of mobile international skills in what is likely to be an increasingly competitive talent market in the next 10 years.”

The PwC survey also showed nearly a quarter of Irish employees would rather be self-employed and 95% don’t view a company pension scheme as being a prime employment benefit.

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