"CORK has been fabulous since I started work."
Good quality of life, shorter commutes and career opportunities are all given as reasons why professionals are choosing to move to Cork city and county to work and live.
A new survey has found disposable income increased for 72% of respondents who have relocated to Cork and four out of five report a better quality of life.
The report included responses from workers of 27 different nationalities, with two-thirds having relocated to Cork during the last two years. Respondents relocated from countries such as China, the US, South Africa, France, Egypt and the Netherlands.
Alexandra Varlot, a French Account Manager with Voxpro, travelled across Africa, Asia, Australia and North America for two years before before moving to Cork in 2016.
“I live in Mahon and my commute to work is much nicer now than in the past.
“Life in Cork is much more affordable too. I’m renting a large house with three friends and we even have a gym room. That sort of lifestyle wasn’t affordable when I lived in Dublin."
She added: “But for me, the best thing about living in Cork is the social environment and how authentic, kind-hearted, helpful and encouraging the people around me are; that’s what makes Cork a great place.”
Cork is attracting a large number of foreign and indigenous tech start-ups — 84% of respondents to the survey currently work in the city’s buoyant IT sector.
Ray O’Connor, IDA Regional Manager South West, described the factors that made Cork so attractive to both international companies and their staff.
“[Cork is] a university city with over 30,000 full and part-time students across several colleges; strong established industry clusters; an expanding international airport on its doorstep; a cosmopolitan city with a rich mix of different nationalities; a rich heritage and history; and a great quality of life.”
Some 85% of those surveyed now have a commute to work of less than 40 minutes and 78% said they did not consider it difficult to find a job in Cork.
While 27% of those who moved back are originally from Ireland, some 73% relocated from outside the country.
ED Tan, group marketing and sales, Tria Oil Group, West Cork, worked in large tech companies in his hometown of San Francisco, when his wife, from County Wicklow, felt the pull home.
Abhay Aiya, IT business analyst, Logitech, Cork. Came to Ireland, from India, in 2014.
ALEXANDRA Varlot, French account manager, Voxpro. Before moving to Cork, in 2016, she travelled across Africa, Asia, Australia and North America for two years.
JOE Driver, EMEA sales director, AlienVault, Cork, was working in London at a recruitment consultancy, placing candidates into IT/finance organisations, when his Irish girlfriend said she wanted to move home to Cork.
Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is the most exciting time in recent Cork history in terms of growth and opportunities. Cork currently has the highest level of job creation in the country.
“There are significant opportunities where people can build a career and move across various companies within strong clusters such as ICT, life sciences, energy, marine, agri-food, tourism and financial services.”
More than 85% of those surveyed said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their relocation and 80% say they now have a better balance between their work and home lives.
"Cork — and Ballinlough where I live — has been fabulous since I started work in May 2017," Abhay Aiya, an IT Business Analyst with Logitech said.
“There are many things to do in Cork post working hours. I love hiking and have joined a hiking club. The club organises hikes every second Sunday to various locations all over Ireland. I love the sea, so I try to do some sea swimming during the summer. I go to yoga at least once a week. I have an active, busy life here already and I love it.”
When asked about the factors which influenced their move to Cork, 73% cited a better quality of life while 72% referenced a reduced cost of living. The other main reasons given were: lower property prices, less traffic, career opportunities, beautiful scenery and a safer environment.
Among the survey’s other key findings were that Cork attracts highly-skilled professionals. 89% of respondents hold a third-level qualification, 42% of those hold Post Grads with another 4% having PhDs or doctorates.
“Over the last seven years, Cork has seen consistent growth in the numbers gaining employment across international companies — an increase of 11,500 people since 2009,” Mr O’Connor said.
The Cork Tech Talent Relocation Survey was carried out by Collins McNicholas in conjunction with Cork Chamber, IDA Ireland and Cork City Council.