Wednesday 18 September 2019

New Irish Life centre to hire 90 new staff

Company unveiled impressive new customer centre at Finnabair

The Irish Life building
The Irish Life building

Olivia Ryan

Just over a year since turning the sod, Irish Life launched their new Customer Centre at Finnabair Retail Park yesterday (Monday) with ambitious plans to hire between 80 and 100 new staff by the end of 2020.

As the ribbon was cut on the new building, which staff had only begun working in a few weeks ago, it was revealed that the company have already begun a programme to increase its staff numbers by 40% in the next 18 months.

Irish Life has operated a Service Centre in Dundalk since 2002 and is a key employer in the area. The centre is part of Irish Life's continued investment in the north-east region. The new facility provides a state of the art facility for employees as well as the potential to increase jobs for the local community.

Speaking at the official opening, David Harney, Chief Executive of Irish Life, said the opening reinforces Irish Life's commitment to both its employees and the local community in Dundalk.

"We are delighted to officially open our new Customer Centre in Dundalk and reinforce Irish Life's continued commitment to the local economy in the north-east region. Over the next 18 months we hope to undertake a significant recruitment drive for new roles within the Customer Centre. This expansion is a significant element of our future growth strategy for Irish life, in line with our ambitious plans for the future. The new centre also reflects our continued customer first focus which is at the heart of our business.

The new Customer Centre in Finnabair Retail Park, will be responsible for omni-channel customer interactions and all current Irish Life employees have now relocated to the new building.

The building was designed by Wejchert Architects, and was delivered by main contractor, Stewart Construction and involved over 200 construction workers on site. Construction started back in February 2017 and the facility is opening ahead of schedule.

The official opening was attended by a large number of Irish Life employees who celebrated the launch of the modern new building.

Damien Rafferty, Manger at the new Customer Centre told the Argus that Irish Life's success in Dundalk had been driven by 'a really talented team of local staff.'

He said they had grown from a modest team of 12 when they first opened locally in 2002, but over the years had grown their numbers to 194 people.

'It's the talent that has driven Irish Life's success here in Dundalk. We are a local workforce, starting with around a dozen or so people seventeen years ago to the upwards of 200 we have working here at the moment.

He explained that the company have a strategic partnership with DkIT, where they are able to access skilled graduates.

'But we have also been working with the Louth Meath Education Training Board, and we are looking at recruiting people who are returning to work, including people over 50 years of age who are perhaps back into employment after raising a family.'

He added: 'We find that in terms of access to skilled people who want to grow a career, Dundalk is fantastic for that.'

Aine Cassidy, Executive Manager, Financial Planning said that the company had centralised almost all of its operations into the new Dundalk Customer Centre, and were delighted to have maintained a lot of the original of the aspects of the business which started in Dundalk.

Irish Life is one of Ireland's leading financial services companies with 1.3 million customers.

For over 75 years they have been providing life insurance, pension and investment needs and, more recently, health insurance.

Since July 2013 Irish Life has been part of the Great-West Lifeco group of companies, one of the world's leading life assurance organisations.

The Argus