West is best for professional high-flyers, as survey reveals 91% are happy with move

The West of Ireland is attracting skilled professionals with its promise of a better quality of life, career opportunities, lower property prices, and more disposable income, a study shows.

West is best for professional high-flyers, as survey reveals 91% are happy with move

By Dan Buckley

The West of Ireland is attracting skilled professionals with its promise of a better quality of life, career opportunities, lower property prices, and more disposable income, a study shows.

An overwhelming 91% of those surveyed cited improved work-life balance and said they are happy with their move to the West — 78% would recommend others to relocate to Galway or Mayo.

Nearly three quarters of the respondents found it easy to find work while 85% have either moved into a similar or more senior role than the one they held before moving.

The Galway-Mayo Relocation Survey, released yesterday, was carried out by recruitment and HR services group Collins McNicholas in conjunction with IDA Ireland.

Collins McNicholas surveyed almost 200 people who have recently relocated to Galway or Mayo.

The report includes responses from those who relocated from 21 countries, including Australia, Canada, US, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain. Some 49% surveyed came to the West from outside of Ireland.

“The West of Ireland is buoyant when it comes to employment opportunities with highly qualified people taking up quality careers in a range of sectors and shows no sign of changing in the near future,” said Michelle Murphy, director of Collins McNicholas, as the report was launched at two separate events at GMIT in Castlebar, Mayo, and Boston Scientific in Galway.

“The findings show they are overwhelmingly happy with the move and with their improved quality of life.

The fact that 78% would recommend relocating to Galway or Mayo speaks volumes for the attractions of the region including shorter commute times, more disposable income, and a wide variety of opportunities that allow candidates to enhance their careers while improving their work-life balance.

Catherina Blewitt, regional manager, West region, IDA Ireland, said 76% of respondents found an improvement in their work-life balance since relocating, while 40% relocated for a more senior role which shows the opportunities that exist in the West.

“The West is well positioned to continue to attract new foreign direct investment and grow employment in existing companies,” she added.

Case studies

Inma Aguilera, manufacturing process development engineer, Creganna Medical, Galway

Inma Aguilera
Inma Aguilera

"The West of Ireland is a great place for engineers to further their careers because there are so many large com-panies where you can grow and progress your career.

"I’m originally from Alicante, Spain, but I moved to the Netherlands in 2015 for better career and lifestyle opportunities. While there were many great opportunities there, I wanted to improve my language skills and, having visited Ireland twice before, it seemed like the perfect place to achieve this as well as growing my career.

In June 2018, I moved to Renmore, Galway, after getting a job with Creganna Medical at their site in Parkmore Business and Technology Park — just 5km from my home. My journey to work takes me around 15 minutes each day by bus.

"It’s much easier to communicate with people here. My colleagues are very friendly, everyone helps each other out, and the hours are flexible. It’s a very supportive team and it’s such a nice environment to work in.

"It’s also a fantastic city for arts all year round."

Ruairí Conroy, managing director, SiteMinder, Galway

Ruairí Conroy
Ruairí Conroy

"Since relocating to the West, I have more time to slow down at the weekends. There is a much more outdoorsy feel to living here; We can take our three children to the beach at the weekend or sometimes I go fishing in my spare time.

My wife and I are originally from Tourmakeady, a Gaeltacht area in Mayo, but we were living and working in Dublin for 14 years before relocating in 2016 to be closer to our families.

"We’re closer to my parents and my wife’s parents now so we get to see them more often, and our extended family only live two minutes over the road. At the moment we’re renting in Partry, just outside Ballinrobe, but we have plans to build a house next to my parents’ home in Tourmakeady.

"I’ve been with SiteMinder in Galway for two years now and the commute is much shorter. The drive takes an hour tops in the car both ways, but the traffic is nowhere near as congested. In Dublin, I wouldn’t have arrived home until after 8pm but now I can get home earlier and have more time with my family before the kids go to bed."

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