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New Arklow business to reduce labour shortage


Ciaran Wright.

Ciaran Wright.

Ciaran Wright.


Arklow will be home to a new business in the coming weeks as Dunwood Services is setting up Irish operations in Arklow Enterprise Centre to alleviate the construction labour shortage in the country.

Business partners Ciaran Wright and Jamie Dunne were operating as construction recruitment specialists in Australia for the past eight years and have decided, like many Irish during the pandemic, to return home.

Dunwood Services helps construction companies find workers, from inexperienced labourers to project managers, for temporary and permanent jobs. The industry has been flourishing in cities around the world but is relatively new in Ireland.

The pair have chosen Arklow as their base because it is a little less than an hour from Dublin and within the commuter belt where people are looking for construction jobs.

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Setting up the office in the Arklow Enterprise Centre has been seamless for Wright, with one available in the coming weeks. The company will start in a small 3-4 person office but there is an incentive to grow and take a larger office in the Centre in the future.

Wright is flying home on November 17 after almost eleven years in Australia. The pandemic gave him an opportunity to assess his life and he knew that if he stayed any longer in Australia he’d be there permanently.

Many Irish people abroad are similarly returning home, Covid restrictions around the world meant that people couldn’t fly and see family members as easily as normal and it forced them to make a decision about their future.

Dunwood Services are banking on Irish people returning to fill the labour roles required in Ireland and will use their extensive network of contacts in Australia to help Irish construction companies hire the right people. They will also tap into Irish people looking to return from North America and England.

It will also help construction workers have a job arranged for when they return.

One of the surprises, Wright says, is that construction workers want to move out of Dublin or stop commuting to Dublin. “We’re getting phone calls from people wondering whether there are any jobs in Wicklow or Kildare or Kilkenny rather than Dublin. There is a high demand for working in towns around the country rather than cities.”