US companies across Ireland are looking for more than 2,000 people to fill existing job vacancies, according to a survey by the American Chamber’s Workforce Activation Survey.
The survey does not break down job availability by region, but a spokesperson for the American chamber said they hope the report will encourage people to check for vacancies before they make a decision to emigrate to find work.
“There are opportunities within the multinational sector here,” the spokesperson said.
Henry McGarvey, chairperson of the chamber’s north-west region and managing director of Pramerica Systems Ireland, said the north-west is poised to benefit from this growth.
“The region has seen a series of investments in recent times from companies such as United Health and Zeus Industrial Products, which have led to the creation of approximately 300 direct jobs,” Mr. McGarvey said, speaking on Friday at the Chamber’s annual Independence Day business lunch. Pramerica Systems Ireland employs 800 people in Letterkenny.
The chamber carries out the survey each year to track employment trends among US companies in Ireland. This year 109 companies responded, with some 90 percent of respondents reporting that they were recruiting to fill current vacancies.
Many of the 2,000 vacancies provide opportunities for new graduates from Irish universities. In 2010, respondents hired more than 800 new graduates. In 2011, hiring intentions of member companies for graduates had increased by 21 percent, which would mean 986 new hires.
Mr. McGarvey said that “the survey points to the fact that the multinational sector in Ireland remains strong and continues to provide excellent employment opportunities for suitably qualified candidates.”
US companies directly employ more than 100,000 people throughout Ireland; in the north-west, 30 foreign companies are responsible for 5,000 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs. The region has a strong track record in financial and professional services, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and advanced manufacturing sectors.
“Among Ireland’s key selling points when it comes to attracting inward investment are our skilled and well educated workforce, our flexibility and our enterprise friendly operating environment,” Mr. McGarvey said. “Our Workforce Activation Survey has already shown that skills gaps are starting to emerge – particularly in the science and technology fields – and this needs to be addressed urgently to protect existing and future investments.”
Mr. McGarvey encouraged the government to continue to invest in education insofar as it is possible, given the current financial environment. “Education is the key to closing the skills gap. The rewards for investment in skills and education are great and the penalties for failure are severe,” he said.
Ireland remains a very good place to do business, Mr. McGarvey said.
“But competition from countries throughout Europe and Asia is intensifying,” he said. “We cannot afford to stand still; we all share a responsibility for striving to make Ireland an even better place to do business and we owe it to ourselves and those coming after us to get the message out there that this country’s flexible, enterprise and investment-friendly environment is a reality, not a slogan.”