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Survey Reveals Brexit, Age and Recession Fears High Among Galway Workforce

18 September 2019
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

* 56% concerned over future job prospects – top reasons: Brexit, recession & age
* 51% reported mental health has suffered because of pressures at work
* Number of UK job applications drop by 18% over six months

A survey conducted this month among Galwegians has revealed that, when it comes to job security, the number one cause for concern is another recession. Other factors presently worrying workers include fears over the outcome of Brexit; the financial impact of the housing crisis; and being unable to find work because of their age. This is according to a comprehensive series of surveys carried out among the thousands of registered attendees to the Jobs Expo Galway, taking place this Saturday, 21st September at Galway Racecourse.

The results of two polls, taken six months apart, revealed a drastic drop in the number of Galway-based jobseekers applying for positions in the UK; Brexit has seen this figure was reduced by 18% overall. Meanwhile, the number of applicants searching for jobs in mainland Europe increased by 16%, and the number of people looking for work in Canada has increased by 11% over the six-month period.

A Local, Ambitious and Concerned Workforce
The vast majority of responders, 44% in fact, are employed, but actively looking to change roles, while only 5% are students or recent graduates looking to take the first step in their career. Most are highly-educated and experienced. Of those questioned, an impressive 60% have more than five years experience working in their given field. 71% of jobseekers have completed third- or postgraduate-level education and 64% of respondents committed to undergoing further training in the next year.

44% of those questioned were originally from the local area, with 38% hailing from elsewhere in Ireland. While many reported applying for jobs in other locations, 52% were hoping to find a job and stay in Galway (although 63% have, or would, consider moving for the right job). The vast majority of respondents are selective when it comes to applying for positions too. In the past year, 52% have applied for up to five jobs, while only 14% have applied for more than twenty jobs.

Factors for Job Satisfaction
Although 19% of respondents were happy with their career progression, most reported that their advancement has been halted for a variety of reasons. When it comes to achieving professional goals, a lack of resources, such as time or money, was an issue for 22% of jobseekers. Many cited that not having access to adequate child care was a massive hindrance for their career advancement, while 35% felt that a lack of opportunities as the biggest obstacle they’ve faced. When factoring in professional goals, surprisingly, money isn’t the main motivator. Despite 18% of respondents valuing salary above all else, 19% believe that having the opportunity for advancement is more important, while a surprising majority of 30% will prioritise a job with a good working environment.

Issues in the workplace
When it comes to toxic work environments, things appear to be improving in the local market. According to the most recent survey, there has been a drop in 18% of reports where workers experienced incidents of bullying at the hands of their colleagues. Meanwhile, of the jobseekers who’ve had issues in the workplace, 30% reported receiving unreasonable demands or expectations, 25% reported that they were bullied by management, and a record low of 4% had problems with sexual harassment. All these numbers reflect a notable dip in the rates of complaints over the past six months.

Yet, are employers doing enough to combat these issues and Brexit fears? 51% reported that their mental health has suffered because of problems or pressures at work. In fact, only 36% of those with workplace issues complained to HR, however, 72% of those who did, felt that the situation was not resolved to their satisfaction. 46% of all jobseekers questioned believe that conditions are getting better, yet 56% of jobseekers are still concerned about their future employment prospects.

Jobs Expo Galway 2019
Jobs Expo returns to Galway City on Saturday, 21st September and runs from 10am to 4pm in the Wilson Lynch Building at the Galway Races, Ballybrit. The popular event will be home to leading employers from Ireland and abroad. There’s a packed schedule of seminars on the Agenda Stage and the Career Clinic is perfect for anyone looking for free one-on-one advice and CV tips. Companies exhibiting on the day include Johnson & Johnson’s Cerenovus, Kelly Services, Bluebird Care, Rehab Group, Production Equipment Europe, BCS Recruitment, CareerWise Recruitment, The TEFL Institute Of Ireland, Manpower, RHS Home Care, Specsavers, HID Global, PM Group, Kirby Group Engineering, the Teaching Council, Innopharma, Aerogen, Zimmer Biomet, GRETB, SOLAS,, Portwest, or FREE NOW with even more to be announced.

Attendance to the busy event is free for those who register at

More information:
Kevin Branigan
Director, Jobs Expo
t: 087 2679047

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