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Low number of third-level students in Shannon

A LARGE proportion of Shannon’s young people don’t go on to third-level education, according to the new draft development plan for the town.
In the draft, it outlines a number of facts about employment and education in Shannon. “Shannon has always been a significant employment base for a broad range of economic sectors, which encompass varying skill levels. 13.3% of the people living in Shannon are classified as employers or managers and a substantial proportion are technical workers. This is consistent with the business nature of many of the companies.
“16.8% of workers were considered as skilled manual and further 21% comprised semi-skilled and unskilled workers combined (CSO 2006), who predominantly work in manufacturing. The majority of residents cease education at 18 (CSO 2006), indicating that many do not continue into third-level education.”
Shannon has a very substantial number of people who have lived in Britain and many more from other countries. “Shannon has always been a focus of immigration and therefore has a diverse range of ethnic minorities and nationalities residing there. 24% of residents lived in Britain before coming to Shannon in 1975 (Shannon Development 1975-6). Five hundred and eighty-six residents in Shannon Town and environs are from other EU countries and 683 individuals are from the rest of the world (CSO 2006).
“From this data, it is evident that provision for diverse ranges of cultural backgrounds is catered for within the plan area. It is also intended that as CSO 2011 data becomes available, to further assess the immigration and emigration within the Shannon Town and Environs LAP area.”
With regard to housing, it states household sizes have been falling in recent times. “Average household sizes in Shannon Town and Environs have been falling over the past number of years from 2.93 persons per household (average) in 2002 to 2.75 in 2006. This figure is slightly below the national average household size, which was 2.81 in 2006.
“The rising population, coupled with falling average household sizes, will put further pressure on the existing housing stock in the area and is likely to give rise to increased demand for accomodation during the lifetime of the plan.
“Preliminary results from CSO Census 2011 indicate there is a small percentage of unoccupied houses in the Shannon area. The percentage varies between 0 and 10%, as exact figures haven’t been released yet.
“More detailed analysis will be available in March 2012. It is considered that the percentage of unoccupied houses may accommodate some of the future housing requirements in the Shannon Local Area Plan.”
The draft finds there is a high level of car dependency and tackling this is one of its goals.
“Three thousand five hundred and twenty-three people travel by car to work, even though 3,369 people live within 4km and 3,805 people live within 15 minutes of their workplace (CSO 2006).
“One thousand five hundred and eighty-nine households have one car and 866 have two cars, which highlights car dependency. It is an objective of the plan to promote smarter travel and reduce dependency on the car.”

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