The leader of a new regional jobs initiative outside of Dublin claims the National Planning Framework needs to include substantial supports for hubs outside of Dublin.

Director of the South East Action Plan for jobs, Sean McKeown, claims the framework needs to include significant investment in rural Irish roads, in broadband connectivity and allowing hubs such as the South East to flourish.

Mr McKeown was addressing the 4th eDigiregion International Conference at Waterford Institute of Technology. The two day conference sees delegates from Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Romania working together to promote sustainable regional development and growth under the EU-funded programme.

Data from the conference shows that two thirds of students form the region who access third level do so outside of the region and 60% of these never return. The region also has the lowest rate of science, technology, engineering and maths graduates in employment within the region – standing at 23% compared to a national average of 29%.

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