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27 May 2015 | 0

While Marchetti acknowledges this could be a factor, he believes SMEs in many of Ireland’s towns need to look at mobility if they want to try and attract local young talent to join their ranks instead of drifting away to Dublin or further afield. “It’s up to SMEs to challenge themselves to become flexible ‘want to work’ type places that embrace the millennial generation,” he argues. “Irish SMEs have got to start thinking long term and looking at how to attract the right type of young vibrant worker into their organisation. To do that they need to have the right culture.”

While those are admirable sentiments, the difficulty is that the government and its agencies don’t seem to be doing much to help SMEs outside the major conurbations to become 21st century businesses. The perception is that the bulk of infrastructure investment is focused on Dublin and other big towns and cities. In addition, job creation, particularly from overseas companies, seems to be concentrated on a handful of larger locations, which pulls people, especially the young, away from the smaller towns, sharpening their decline.

No amount of hype is going to change that reality any time soon.

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