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Transport and Jobs – Why Investment in Public Transport Creates Jobs

Link Blog | November 11, 2015

Getting Increased Opportunities for Employment On The Right Track

On two Fridays across October and November, Iarnrod Éireann workers carried out one peak time strike and called one off at the last minute, causing much disruption. While I don’t seek to take any side in the events in question, the 30-40 min increase in my commute crystallised something in my mind – the immeasurable value to a society and economy of an efficient, regular and user friendly public transport system.


Working in recruitment, I know that one of the major stumbling blocks to finding a suitable candidate for a job is their proximity to the role. Find me someone who is willing to commute from Skerries to Sandyford and I will find you someone with an overzealous penchant for drive time radio!! Candidates rightly don’t want to have to undertake a 2 or 3 hour round trip to get to work each day, not to mention shell out the funds necessary to do so. Such punishing commutes, turn people off applying for jobs which can benefit their lives, thus putting them at a disadvantage as well as hindering companies seeking the right people to help their business succeed.


The government recently unveiled a multi-billion euro capital expenditure programme for transport due to run over the next 5 years. Most of it (Metro North, Extension of the DART) had been flagged well in advance of the announcement and indeed were projects shelved at the start of the recession. While the plan is certainly welcome, it only begins to meet the level of investment needed in public transport in Dublin and around the country.  A well-funded and efficiently operated transport system (yes it is possible!), not only ensures people have a reliable service to take them on nights out with friends, or visits to relatives but also connects them seamlessly with the jobs that they want and are qualified for.


International companies locating in Ireland often cite our educated population as one of the main motivating factors for setting up here, but that advantage is null and void if these talented people can’t or won’t travel to join the business.


We may never have a perfect transport system, but as a society we have neglected the economic and social returns that emanate from having top class infrastructure. No one in Dublin should have to commute more than an hour or so to work in any other part of the city or county and companies should have a reasonable expectation that when they take the risk of setting up a business that access to the people they need is not stymied by poor transport connectivity – If they don’t they may look elsewhere.


Investment in public transport is not a luxury, but a necessity for Ireland and is furthermore a hugely productive investment that makes a country more attractive place to do business (attracting more jobs and indeed creating jobs itself). It also vastly improves quality of life for commuters, shoppers and citizens in general. We should make sure that in future we don’t score an F and do what we can to get people from a to b with an efficient, reliable and green transport system.

Cormac Spencer is a Recruitment Consultant and Business Development Manager with Link Personnel Services

This article will appear in the Dublin People Newspapers in November.

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