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WDC helped to create more than 290 jobs over past year

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The Western Development Commission (WDC) last year created a total of 292 jobs through its growth programmes. Here, CEO Ray McGreal gives an update on the organisation’s performance.

The Western Development Commission is a statutory organisation which was set up in 1998. It operates under and reports to the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government.

The general functions of the WDC are to ‘foster and encourage economic and social development in the Western Region’.  Our remit covers the five counties in Connaught plus Donegal and Clare.

In geographical terms the region encompasses 37% of the national land mass but only 18% of the national population.  68% of that 18% live outside of Gateway or Hub towns so it is clear that we are dealing with a predominately rural environment.

Broadly speaking the WDC has become the pre-eminent regional development agency in Ireland.  Despite continued reductions in staff and finance we are performing well and delivering the goods.  Since our inception we can claim to have influenced the creation or retention of 1,899 jobs.

In 2012 alone, an impressive total of 292 new jobs were created through WDC growth programmes.

Just a few examples of programmes launched in 2012:

• Creative Industries Micro Loan Fund (€1m over 3 years) – This fund has supported over 60 jobs in its first year

• Regional tourism marketing plan (€1.4m) – This is a scheme initiated by WDC where several agencies have been brought together to market the region largely via Ireland West Airport Knock.  The first year led to 13,000 new visitors delivering over €3m to the region’s economy

• Re-Connect Diaspora Programme (€23,000)- linking the region to the global diaspora.  Initial events in the UK have led to over 40 new jobs e.g. Lafferty group investment in Mayo

• Creative Edge EU Export Growth Programme (€1.2m) – An innovative programme to help the region’s creative industry to access global markets.  At the time of launching the programme 66% of businesses in the sector had no contact with markets outside of Ireland.  Today almost 200 businesses are linking to global customers through the www.mycreativeedge.eu website.   We are aiming for hundreds of jobs in the near term and thousands by the end of the decade through this initiative.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Former Manchester United star joins forces with Galway tech company

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New alliance...Rachel Kavanagh, CMO Clubforce; Garry Stannett, CEO Rio Ferdinand Foundation, and Noel Murray, CEO, Clubforce.

A Galway enterprise that started out as a pet project to establish a fundraising tool for Irish Diaspora to send money to their GAA clubs back home has now teamed up with an English football legend – to drive inclusivity in sport.

Clubforce, founded by Warren Healy in Carna back in 2009, has joined forced with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, a youth and community development charity which works in the heart of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.

The Rio Ferdinand Foundation was set up in 2012 by the former professional footballer, following issues of inequality he experienced in his own life.

It is now working in communities across Ireland and the UK, with regional hubs in Belfast, Manchester, and London – supporting more than 10,000 youths, helping them to realise their potential.

Foundation Founder, former Manchester United and England centre-half Rio Ferdinand, said he was ‘delighted to collaborate with a community-focused software company developing technology to promote sports participation and make sport accessible to all’.

“We are on the same journey,” he said.

Clubforce CMO Rachel Kavanagh said they had huge admiration for the work done by the Rio Ferdinand Foundation – particularly for girls.

“I’m especially excited to hear about programs such as GoGirl, building the confidence of young women and girls to achieve their potential. We’re looking forward to contributing to the efforts made by the Foundation to drive inclusion and sports participation across genders in both geographies,” she said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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New domain registrations reveal growth of almost 7% over first half of year

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Figures...David Curtin.

Traditional businesses are embracing their online presence now more than ever in the aftermath of Covid – with Galway companies showing a growth of almost seven per cent in new domain registrations post-pandemic.

That’s according to the latest statistics released by .IE, Ireland’s country domain manager. 

There were 1,236 new .ie domains registered in Galway in the first half of this year, representing growth of 6.6% over pre-pandemic 2019.

That figure accounted for over half of the 2,352 new .ie domains registered in Connacht between January and June 2022, as the database reported 2.6% year-on-year growth, with new registrations returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Identifying with place proved very popular for new .ie registrations in H1 2022. In Galway, the top three keywords in new .ie domain registrations were ‘Galway’, ‘Ireland’ and ‘Irish’.

At the end of June, the total .ie database stood at 332,642 domains.

Limerick recorded the highest percentage growth among the major urban counties (Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford) over the first half of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Large numbers of younger Irish workers plan to change jobs in next two years

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Gary Notley...workers reassessing options.

More than half of the co-called Gen Z’s and only slightly less of our millennials plan to leave their current jobs for pastures new in the next two years.

That’s according to a new Deloitte Ireland survey which revealed that 56% of Gen Zs and 40% of millennials plan to leave their current roles in that time.

It also found that 53% of millennials believe the economic situation will worsen in the next twelve months, compared to 36% of Gen Z.

And 55% of Irish millennials cite the cost of living as being their number one greatest concern with one in four of them leaving their organisations in 2022 as a result of burnout.

Gen Z refers to the generation of people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, while millennials are those reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.

Overall, the survey found that both cohorts are concerned about an economic downturn – but they desire a better work/life balance and want more flexible working arrangements than they currently have.

The Irish participants were taking part in the Millennial and Gen Z global study of over 45 countries – and they said they are more willing than ever to leave for fresh opportunities.

They are seeking options to provide them with better salary/reward, work life balance, higher flexibility and opportunity offered by employers, and, to a lesser extent, organisations focused on climate change.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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