The Waterford City Region is renowned for its talented workforce, high-calibre graduates

and expansive staff catchment area.


Talent Pool

An experienced and ready-made workforce offers all of the specialist skills and training that companies need to compete globally. With a workforce of over 187,000, the Waterford City Region has a balanced and multicultural workforce that is flexible and highly motivated. 70% of the population in the Waterford City Region are of working age (18 years – 65 years) with 23%  under the age of 18. The Waterford City Region is the 6th fastest growing region in the EU in terms of job creation.

By 2040, it is projected that 40% of new jobs being created will be in high-value added sectors in High-Tech Manufacturing, Professional & Scientific and ICT sectors. Labour rates are sustainable in the region and are considerably lower than Dublin, representing potential cost savings to employers. In addition, the exceptionally low rates of staff turnover in the region mean that staffing and recruitment costs are kept extremely competitive when compared with other locations.


Talent Pipeline

With 15,000 students and 5,000 graduating annually with a strong focus on STEM, the Waterford City Region has a talent pipeline that is broad, deep and exceptionally versatile thanks to well-coordinated regional skills initiatives, excellent schools, colleges and SETU (South East Technological University).

SETU (South East Technological University) has evolved out of the institutes of technology at Waterford and Carlow and brings together over 50 years of experience in higher education, research, innovation and stakeholder collaboration.

SETU is a genuinely regional university, with campuses across the south east in Waterford, Carlow, Wexford, Wicklow and Kilkenny. Today SETU serves over 18,000 students and employs over 1,500 staff with ambitions to grow student numbers to 25,000 with almost 2,000 staff in the next 10 years.

The university’s research performance already shines in Ireland and internationally and provides a strong platform for future development. SETU brings together over 550 research active staff, nine research centres, one research institute and four Technology Gateways across Waterford and Carlow, expanding the range and quality of research to meet the needs of the south east. Over the five years from 2016 to 2020 alone, researchers from SETU have successfully attracted over €95m in research funding from a variety of European and national funding agencies, state bodies and industrial partners.

SETU is a place where the whole community works together to achieve global impact. This university provides exceptional opportunities for all, from students to businesses and regional partners.

Waterford City Region Talent Pipeline 2018
Employees in the ICT sector 6000
ICT Students Programmes in 3rd Level Education 1500
Employees in the Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Industrial Technologies Sector 31000
Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Industrial Technologies Students in 3rd level education 3000
Employees in the Life Sciences Sector 17000
Life Sciences Students in 3rd Level Education 6800
Employees in the Financial, Professional & Business Services 6000
Financial, Professional & Business Services Students in 3rd Level Education 5200

Jobs Created

The Waterford City Region is the 6th fastest growing region in the EU in terms of job growth.

40% of new jobs are being created in high-value added sectors in High-Tech Manufacturing, Professional, Scientific and ICT Sectors.

The Waterford City Region is ranked by the Financial Times in the Top 10 Micro European Cities of the Future, and in the top 10 for Economic Potential and FDI Strategy.


Recent Developments


Age of Workforce

With 70% of the population of the Waterford City Region of working age and 23% of the population under the age of 18, the population is one of the youngest In Ireland.

With planned growth in the Retail, Tech and Sustainability sector, the population of young, dynamic and talented people will also grow, with that cohort heavily attracted to those sectors. Added to that is a burgeoning Pharmaceutical industry making the area a great prospect for families.


Multicultural Workforce

Waterford has a diverse multicultural community. With University Hospital Waterford attracting talent from across the Globe, as well as 750 international students from over 70 countries, Waterford is a welcoming place for all cultures. For first-time visitors, even without a car, it is easy to travel around on foot, on bike or on public transport. The City also has a world-class food scene to suit all tastes.

Waterford Cultural Quarter (WCQ) is a newly rejuvenated area of the City, which has been designated for significant additional investment by Waterford City & County Council. The area, which is situated in and around O’Connell Street, just off the City’s main thoroughfare is a hive of activity on weekend and in the Summer months and is home to several festivals/projects including Waterford Ska Weekend, Murals for Communities, Waterford Walls Project, A Quaker Trail. WCQ also hold an annual ‘Africa Day’, a wonderfully vibrant event which aims to celebrate the links between the African nations and Ireland each year.