Attracting and retaining appropriately skilled labour is the single greatest threat facing Dublin businesses this year, a new survey has found.
Dublin Chamber's latest Business Outlook Report found that almost three-in-four firms say 'attracting/retaining/upskilling staff' is their number one priority for the year ahead.
This is for the second consecutive year.
Skills and labour shortages have repeatedly ranked as a top issue for Dublin businesses in recent years.
One-third of Dublin businesses also report that they intend to offer apprenticeships this year as a means of accessing new talent pools.
When firms were asked what their main motivations for offering apprenticeships are, many noted it as a recruitment tool for new talent to meet the skills gaps of their businesses while encouraging company loyalty.
Aebhric McGibney is Dublin Chamber's Director of Public and International Affairs.
"We're hearing from Dublin firms that several factors, particularly childcare expenses and the lack of affordable housing, are driving current labour shortages," he said.
"Several firms have also noted that their growth post-COVID is back on track, but during what should be a crucial recovery period, they are saying no to business opportunities, as they simply don’t have the staff needed to deliver the necessary outputs to meet demand.
"More can be done to improve the labour force participation of women in particular, by removing the barriers preventing people from returning to work and reducing the cost of childcare," Mr McGibney added.
Dublin Chamber is calling on Government to build more houses in the city region, and to ensure that a more steady supply of accommodation comes from existing zoned and serviced land.