300 new jobs 'pave way for recession fightback'
INDIGENOUS firms operating within the 'smart economy' will be crucial to hauling Ireland out of recession, new Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe said yesterday.
Mr O'Keeffe was speaking as he confirmed a €3.5m investment by specialist outsourcing firm Abtran, supported by Enterprise Ireland, which will create 300 new jobs in Cork.
The jobs will be created over the next three years.
The development follows a €6.5m investment last year which delivered 250 new jobs.
"Companies such as Abtran are at the forefront of innovation, creating jobs and the products and services of tomorrow by opening new markets and driving our export sales footprint across the globe," Mr O'Keeffe said.
Enterprise Ireland boss Frank Ryan said its goal was to help indigenous firms establish themselves as world-class operations in the global marketplace.
"Abtran is a prime example of such a company, focused on driving future growth through investment and research and development. This ambitious research and development project is the next significant step in the evolution of Abtran and towards its goal of becoming a world leader in business process outsourcing," he said.
Abtran said it owed its success in recent years to its focus on R&D and innovative services.
Abtran chief Michael Fitzgerald said firms which offered value-for-money in the current marketplace were in even greater demand because of the recession. "We have established a network of business, academic, commercial and public sector interests to create banks of expertise around service delivery to customers and citizens."
Abtran began operations in 1996 with a workforce of just four. It now employs more than 1,000 people.
Its client list already includes Sky TV, An Post, the Financial Regulator, Hibernian Insurance, the ESB and, most recently, eFlow, the firm which operates the barrier-free tolling system on the M50 in Dublin.