Vote of confidence to clear way for thousands more jobs
ANOTHER 500 hi-tech jobs will be announced within weeks in a further vote of confidence for the economy after yesterday's announcement of 1,000 positions at PayPal.
The biggest jobs announcement since the recession started will generate an estimated 3,000 spin-off jobs.
It also significantly boosts our reputation as a global hub for internet firms.
The online payments company was swayed to bring the jobs here by the skills in the Irish workforce.
The American giant will recruit 300 this year at its new European Operations Centre in Dundalk, Co Louth and take on a further 250 each year until 2015.
The decision will increase its staff numbers to 2,400 by 2015 as it already employs 1,400 in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin.
It is now hoped that its substantial presence here will act as a magnet for some of the world's internet giants to inject millions into the struggling economy.
The Irish Independent understands that yesterday's announcement is the first in a series of significant job deals to be unveiled shortly.
At least three US companies will unveil plans to create between 100 and 200 jobs over the coming weeks.
And Indian company HCL Technologies will formally confirm its plans to put 220 jobs on offer in Kilkenny.
In a separate report, the HSBC bank forecast that Irish trade will surge 73pc in the next 15 years.
It predicts the US will replace the UK as Ireland's largest trading partner.
This trade will be driven by demand for chemicals and pharmaceuticals and help push the total value of goods exported from $151bn (€114bn) to $262bn by 2025.
Yesterday the region stretching from Newry to Drogheda was celebrating the financial boost associated with 1,000 new jobs at PayPal.
There will be a 50/50 mix of jobs for graduates and non-graduates at the company, where the average salary is estimated at €47,580 per year.
Louise Phelan, vice president of PayPal's global operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, last night outlined how Ireland clinched the jobs.
The educated and cosmopolitan workforce was a major factor for the company which praised the language skills of many Irish workers.
"In the last two weeks and months I've been looking at a number of potential locations in Europe and Ireland," she said.
"However, due to the rich talent and language skills of the workforce in Ireland, we decided that it was the best place where we wanted to do business.
"It's a great day for Paypal and it's a great day for Ireland Inc."
Ms Phelan carried out a thorough analysis of the linguistic abilities of potential candidates for the jobs based in the north-east region from Dublin to the North.
"I did a very in-depth analysis on the language opportunities that are in Dundalk. That was the most important thing in terms of clinching the investment," she added.
While some recruitment may be needed abroad, she found that speakers of the majority of languages the company needed -- including French, German, Spanish and Dutch -- could be found in this region.
There are large buildings of 100,000sq ft lying empty in Dundalk, which can be used straight away, meaning the operation will be up and running from July.
And the fact the new centre will be located just an hour's drive from the US company's base in Blanchardstown in Dublin helped seal the deal.
The company can also avail of Ireland's low corporation tax rate as well as the IDA's financial support, which the investment agency would not disclose.
It was confirmed that around half the jobs will be offered to candidates with a second language, but the posts are not just open to graduates.
PayPal also encouraged those without languages and people on the dole to apply, as training will be given for some of the roles.
Successful recruits will start work in a range of roles, including customer support, finance and sales.
PayPal is growing rapidly as more people shop online and it is also expecting a further boom in business as the company expands into the main street market.
"I'm looking to fill 1,000 jobs and am not too bothered if they are graduates or not right now," Ms Phelan told the Irish Independent.
"I will look at every opportunity that comes to us, whether someone is on the Live Register or a graduate as we are happy to train.
"They could be working in retail, they could be in sales or banking."
Recruitment will begin immediately and the jobs will also be advertised abroad.
Owned by eBay, PayPal helps customers make monetary transactions online.
It aims to soon compete with credit card companies by offering transactions in shops and plans to double its revenue by 2013.
IDA chief executive Barry O'Leary said PayPal and eBay's "track record" as part of a cluster of the top 10 technology companies in the world had paid off.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government's action plan would ensure this is just the first of many similar announcements.
When asked for his reaction to a Fianna Fail claim that it laid the groundwork for the jobs announcement, he replied: "God love them."
This is eBay's third site in Ireland and its workforce has shot up from 25 people to 1,400 since 2003.
More information about the new jobs is available at www.paypaljobsireland.com or www.jobs.ebaycareers.com