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Businesses struggle to find Irish staff despite jobs crisis

THE unemployment rate may stand at 14.4pc, but a number of businesses are claiming it is impossible to find Irish staff.

Marcus White, a hotelier who manages eight hotels along the western seaboard, said he has had to recruit 180 seasonal workers from overseas, as there were not enough qualified people here.

Meanwhile, the owners of ARE Direct Sales Management contacted Jobs Minister Richard Bruton to express their frustration with job interviewees failing to turn up.

In the past month, 72 people were called for interview for 15 jobs, but only 18 people showed up. Out of the 18, 10 were offered jobs, but only seven people came to work.

Aidan Ryan, John Aylward and James Edinborough set up the firm in Tipperary last year and hope to create up to 75 new jobs by Christmas, but they fear they will be unable to fill them.

"We get the CVs and we work closely with FAS. We advertise too. We give them the date and email to confirm the interview, but you'd be doing well if they'd show up," Mr Ryan said.

The jobs are in sales and employees are expected to go directly to businesses to convince them to change their phone or electricity providers for a better deal.

It offers all sales reps a company car, a mobile phone and a diesel card on top of bonuses and a basic salary of €21,000 for someone with no experience or €25,000-€30,000 for someone with experience.

"The first thing people say is, 'I'm going to lose my medical card, my rent allowance and my payments. That's worth €410 odd a week to me'," Mr Aylward said.

"People aren't taking into account that this is just a basic salary and they can work for the rest. It's as if the interviewer needs to sell the job now, instead of the other way around."

Marcus White runs runs four hotels in Clare, three in Donegal and one in Kerry. "There are simply not enough qualified workers here in Clare -- they have all emigrated or gone elsewhere," Mr White said.

Positions are available for all aspects of the trade, from hotel management to restaurant and bedroom staff. Pay starts at the minimum wage of €8.65 and graduates upwards for the more senior positions.

"I can't just take someone in off the street and say: 'Here, start serving the bar.' They need to have the experience or training. There are no young people left in Clare with these skills," Mr White said.

There are over 10,000 people unemployed in Clare.

Irish Independent