herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

'Four years ago it was despair, now we create 1,000 new jobs a week'

Mary Mitchell O’Connor Picture: Fennell Photography
Mary Mitchell O’Connor Picture: Fennell Photography

Jobs minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor has boasted that the country is creating 1,000 jobs a week, in contrast to a time when the government was "wringing their hands in despair".

Ms Mitchell O'Connor made the remarks as 700 new jobs were announced across three companies in the capital.

She was addressing executives and employees of West Pharmaceutical Services at their expanded facility in Mulhuddart, west Dublin where the US firm will employ 100 more people over five years.

Despair

She said there are now more than two-million people in work in Ireland, 1,000 jobs a week are being created and the unemployment rate is down to 7.8pc.

Ms Mitchell O'Connor asked the audience to consider that "four short years ago" unemployment was more than 15pc and that this had the government and the public "wringing their hands in despair".

She said the Government "put our heads down" and put in the policies that were needed to turn the situation around. She also thanked IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland saying "they've rolled up their sleeves and they've made sure to attract in companies just like West".

Ms Mitchell O'Connor told the Herald that the Government continues to monitor the impact of Brexit but that she's "confident" there are more jobs in the pipeline in the coming months.

Social protection minister Leo Varadkar also attended the opening which was in his constituency. He said that the international uncertainty has not led to a slowdown in job creation or the falling Live Register but that the government is "not complacent".

Mr Varadkar also used the occasion to make a pitch for the creation of an "American-style medical centre" in Blanchardstown. He noted that Dublin West is close to the airport and is already home to several multinational firms.

"We also have Connolly Hospital, an expanding adult hospital with a children's centre about to go to construction next door to it and the Rotunda Maternity Hospital is moving there in a few years time," he said.

Potential

"So I think potentially on that campus you have the possibility to develop an American-style medical centre with a very big healthcare campus but also right beside it life-science companies and others really using the synergies that exist between healthcare and business.

"That completes my pitch for further investment in my own constituency," he added.

The jobs at West came as Voxpro announced it is recruiting 400 people for a new office at the Point Village and social networking service LinkedIn also announced 200 more jobs for its Dublin office.

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