Sunday 25 September 2016

Jobs a good 'un: global tech firm hires 100 of its JobBridge trainees

Published 03/09/2015 | 02:30

1/5/2013; Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D., at the launch of an independent evaluation of the JobBridge Scheme which demonstrates the internship scheme is amongest the most successful in Europe. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
1/5/2013; Taoiseach Enda Kenny, T.D., at the launch of an independent evaluation of the JobBridge Scheme which demonstrates the internship scheme is amongest the most successful in Europe. Picture credit; Damien Eagers

A multinational tech giant in Cork says it has permanently hired 100 people from 130 trainees taken on through the government's controversial JobBridge employment scheme.

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VMware, the cloud computing company which employs over 700 people in Ballincollig and is expanding its presence there, said that its hit rate using the State-subsidised scheme has been "fantastic" over the last two years.

"We trained 130 people and we hired 100 people as part of this 130," said Jean-Pierre Brulard, head of VMware's operations in Europe.

"Overall, it's been a fantastic experience. The roles have included support engineers and some high end jobs."

JobBridge has come in for criticism from some economic commentators and unions for being abused by firms who simply want cheap labour. Under the scheme, a company may take on an unemployed JobBridge applicant for a number of months.

The worker's wages, which are limited to a €50 top-up on social welfare being received, are subsidised by the State.

Employers' groups favour the scheme, arguing that it increases skilled training and creates employment through economic activity.

VMware's European chief said that the scheme has led to unexpected results for the company.

"One of the best cloud computing architects we now have used to work in archaeology. But maybe the market for archaeology isn't so great in Ireland right now. He retrained with us through JobBridge. We have found lots of people who have a very good education and who are now very well trained."

VMware, which employs 18,000 people worldwide and had revenues of over €5bn last year, recently announced it is to expand its operations in Cork.

It also announced the appointment of University of Limerick graduate Ray O'Farrell as its global chief technology officer. Mr O'Farrell, who has worked at VMWare for 12 years, will be responsible for all of VMware's R&D business units, according to the company. He previously worked for Limerick-based tech firm Ashling Microsystems

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