Hewlett Packard to create 50 jobs for 'highly-skilled graduates'
THE Irish operation of Hewlett Packard (HP), the world's largest computer manufacturer, is to create 50 jobs at its base in Co Kildare.
HP said it was creating positions for "highly-skilled, multi-lingual graduates" to work as support for Microsoft software programs. HP Ireland's managing director Martin Murphy said the company could add a further 70 people at a later date depending on the success of the new hires.
"These are the kind of highly skilled, high quality positions HP is always trying to add. We have created more than 500 jobs in Ireland over the last two years so this feeds into our investment strategy.
"Where the talent pool is deep, as it is here, we are always looking to grow."
Mr Murphy added that strategies like this, that see a relatively small number of jobs added, could be the way forward rather than focusing on big employers who might take large chunks out of the live register.
"Industry is ready and willing to take a leadership role for creating a jobs strategy in the country, and as the national discussion opens up, business has a part to play," he said.
"There is a perception out there that we have to be getting thousands of new jobs at a time, but that is not the only way to reduce the unemployment rate quickly."
"There are more than 600 foreign multinationals, numerous Irish corporations, as well as small and medium enterprises that can start taking on new employees. We're not talking about big figures here.
"If the foreign multinationals take on 15 more staff, then that's nearly 10,000 new jobs straight away. The same can be said for the major Irish corporations even if they take on as few as five or 10 staff and then if every SME can take on one new person that will add up as well," he added.
"The Government needs to focus on creating the conditions for companies here to start hiring again."
HP would be one of the main beneficiaries of the Government's 'Smart Economy' strategy but Mr Murphy was adamant that Ireland should not lose sight of the importance of the manufacturing sector and lower-skilled jobs.
Mr Murphy also called for a renewed emphasis on foreign languages in the secondary education system, specifically on bringing Asian language classes into the main curriculum.
"I would hope that school leavers can be proficient in at least one of the foreign languages taught here, usually French or German, but as most people have realised, Asia is the future," he said.
"There are already some transition-year students learning Mandarin and other Asian languages, but that needs to carry on to the Leaving Certificate."