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Half of Galwegians would consider moving for work says jobs survey

Jobs Expo survey
1 February 2017
Est. Reading: 4 minutes
Nearly half of Galwegians would consider moving from the City of Tribes for work. Meanwhile, 50% of locals feel the Government has not invested enough in rural Ireland, with almost one in five expressing dissatisfaction with the Government's recently-launched Action Plan for Rural Ireland.

The jobs survey, carried out amongst almost 1500 Galwegians at the end of January, found that 48% of locals would move away from the city for work. A further 21% said they would consider doing so in future, with only 31% ruling out moving from the area.

The survey was conducted by Jobs Expo Galway, which will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday 11th February. The survey explored a range of issues and concerns relating to employment in the West of Ireland and covered people employed in a multitude of sectors such as financial, medical, legal, IT, science, engineering, media, digital, education, hospitality, retail and traders. 44% were originally from Galway, with 39% from elsewhere in Ireland. In addition, 15% were from the EU and 2.5% from outside the EU.

Interestingly, the statistic does not reflect the employment status of people taking part in the survey. By far the largest group, 44%, of respondents are in employment, but are actively seeking a new position.


Despite being willing to move, more than half of respondents (51%) are looking for work in Galway, with 11% looking for work in the wider western region and 17.5% looking 'anywhere in Ireland'. This means nearly two-thirds of our respondents plan to stick close to home. Meanwhile, just 6% of respondents were looking for work in Dublin.

The jobs survey also found that 21% of locals have applied for jobs abroad in recent years. The most common reasons for applying abroad was to gain career experience (23%) and to gain cultural experience (19%). 13% felt a lack of jobs at in Galway had left them with no choice but to seek employment abroad.

Our nearest neighbours were the first port of call for these jobseekers: over half (51%) of those looking for work outside Ireland have applied for positions in the UK, with other locations being Europe (25%), Middle East (19%), Australia (19%), the USA (14%), Canada (14%), New Zealand (8%) and the Far East (7%).


Lack of development was another issue. Half of those surveyed (49%) feel the Government has not invested enough in rural Ireland. A further 18% feel the recently launched Action Plan for Rural Ireland does not go far enough, with 5% feeling it was too little too late. Only 2% felt the Government was doing enough to help rural areas.


Nearly half of respondents are keen on further education, with 45% planning to upskill in 2017 through their own initiative. For many, it is a lack of opportunities in their current sector that have motivated them. More than half of respondents (58%) are considering changing sector. 6% will engage in upskilling through their employer. 4% of those surveyed will enroll in a course non-related to their employment.


We asked respondents what was most important to them when looking for a new job. The factors, in order of preference, were:

  1. Salary
  2. Proximity to home
  3. Company stability and reputation
  4. Opportunity for career advancement
  5. Pension or medical insurance
  6. Good working environment
  7. Flexi-time or telecommuting options
  8. Perks or other non-monetary bonuses

Three quarters of those who had recently been offered a job told us that the salary wasn’t open to negotiation. A lucky 52% felt that the salary on offer was fair; 45% said it was not.


The survey turned up some worrying statistics, particularly in relation to bullying.

58% have experienced what they felt to be unreasonable demands or expectations in the workplace, with 45% claiming to have experienced workplace bullying from managers and 41% from colleagues. 24% felt they had been passed over for promotion without explanation, 10% had experienced theft of their property in the workplace. Worryingly, 8% felt they had been victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

  • Unreasonable demands or expectations 58%
  • Workplace bullying from managers 45%
  • Workplace bullying from colleagues 41%
  • Passed over for promotion without explanation 24%
  • Theft of property or work product 10%
  • Sexual harassment 8%
  • Violent crime 1%

Less than half of those affected, 42%, complained to HR or management. Worryingly, two-thirds of those that did complain felt the situation was not satisfactorily resolved.

On a positive note, however, 35% believe that working employment regulations in Ireland adequately protect employees, with 15% of those surveyed felt they did not. Approximately a third of respondents believe that working conditions in Ireland are improving for employees.


As the economy improves and companies go into recruitment mode, it is worth bearing in mind that salary may persuade someone to take a job, but a difficult working environment can prompt employees to keep an eye out for something better.

"The survey turned up some surprising and some worrying results," says Jobs Expo's Kevin Branigan. "We were not surprised to learn salary is one of the top considerations for most people looking to change jobs. However, our respondents threw us a curveball when they told us that that an easy commute to and from work is more important – but only just – than the reputation of an employer. Also, a large number of people have had bad experiences with employers," says Branigan.

“The economy has been improving and lots of companies are currently in recruitment mode. Recruitment can be a timely and costly business, and retaining qualified staff is a priority for most companies,” says Branigan. "It’s worth bearing in mind that salary may persuade someone to take a job, but a difficult working environment can prompt employees to keep an eye out for something better. Keeping staff is just as important as attracting them," he said.


The Jobs & Employment in Galway 2017 survey, was conducted amongst 1500 people in Galway in January 2017. The survey was conducted by Jobs Expo Galway, which will run at the Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday 11th February from 11-4pm. Admission is free.

The event features more than 30 leading employers from Ireland and abroad, a day of seminars in the Seminar Zone and free career guidance advice in the Career Clinic. The event is supported by Mathworks, Boston Scientific, BD Medical, Metlife and BCS Recruitment, amongst others. Those wishing to attend can register at

More information

Kevin Branigan
Jobs Expo Galway
t: 01 5311 280 / 07 2679047



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