6.5.5 Employment, Enterprise and Economic Development Sectors
Economic success will depend on the continued strength of our enterprise and services base. The internationally traded services sector is vital to a small open city economy such as Dublin. The US and Europe will continue to be important investors, alongside domestic investors, but other countries such as China will be a major potential source of investment.
Dublin City Council welcomes the decision of the government to locate the National Paediatric Hospital on the St James’s Hospital campus. The clustering of major acute hospitals, together with the related clinical research and laboratory facilities on the campus, will not only generate significant additional direct and indirect employment but will also attract new health- and knowledge-related industries, thus acting as a catalyst for urban regeneration in the south-west inner city.
The locally traded services sector (e.g. entertainment, restaurants, cultural and other services etc.) is a major wealth and employment generator and plays a pivotal role in determining the performance of the economy. Social entrepreneurs and social enterprise have a major role to play in improving the economy and quality of life in the city.
Markets, both indoor and outdoor, are increasing in number and success. In many cities outside Ireland, they are major tourist attractions as well as a service for residents. 70 million people visited the Boqueria market in Barcelona in one year. Markets are also supportive of start-up enterprises.
Dublin is successful in attracting international students and English language students in line with national and City Council development plan policies. There is a growing shortage of student accommodation, however there are investors and providers willing to develop such facilities. In other cities, clusters of professionally-managed student accommodation are significant forces for regeneration of areas.
The various food sectors in the city are a growth industry. The City Council has published a report, ‘Food and the City’ (2011), that outlined the employment and economic development potential of the various sub-sectors. The café/restaurant sector is thriving in the city: they are important sources of employment and critical in making the city attractive for workers, visitors and residents.
One emerging economic generator in the city is craft distilleries and visitor centres. Craft distilleries and breweries with visitor centres are major and long-established visitor attractions and economic generators in US cities, and offer great potential for this city which has a great but lost heritage of distilling. It is important that the City Council identifies and supports emerging and growth sectors of our economy. Digital enterprises are a key growth area and the City Council has published a ‘Digital Masterplan for Dublin’ (2013).