Knowledge Economy. One of the most abused terms by the Government in the past few years, spouted out in press releases and speeches in a form of buzzword bingo. From the cribsheet of a jaded civil servant to the mouth of a politician without any brain work.
Traditional physical manufacturing in Ireland is a dying if not a dead industry. Grunt work done in Ireland is expensive. When trees are cut down, shipped to another country and then sent back here as building supplies, you know something is amiss. Physical labour alone to make something can be done anywhere and mostly now it’s done in India, China and some African countries. That this was going to happen was obvious for at least a decade yet people are surprised and shocked.
Yet, it’s all going to happen again with tech jobs in this country because so much of it is grunt work. High-tech according to the Government and their spindoctors is localisation, sales and tech support. That’s far from knowledge work there. And when the grants dry up, those jobs too are off elsewhere. It’s just another Shannon stopover. Yet we’ll all be shocked when this happens, why? Many of the software manufacturers in this country now outsource work to India and China that once was done here. We should actually welcome that. Any vacuum created should be filled with real knowledge economy jobs. We’re not drones yet all these jobs are drone work. We’re relying on borrowed time.
I think Ireland, despite the shit broadband and the lies about it being good, can overcome that and be a core part of all things digital. Ireland should take in digital raw materials, work them, add value by reworking the digital bits and produce something that can be used elsewhere. A new form of manufacturing and processing that merges various bits but very importantly uses the greymatter in our heads to improve these things. We could make a lot from Government data too. Some are suggesting that Ireland becomes the project manager for outsourcing. With our GMT foothold and our culture of being good diplomats, we can be a bridge between the Western world and the world where outsourcing takes place.
Certainly this is one future but with our talented kids we pump out from colleges and a history of creativity, Ireland could own the space in digital where value is added. Britain is getting it. I wonder will we see it or will we just pump out more and more java developers who invariably end up training up some lad in China on how to replace them?