Longford is an ideal place for international small-to-medium sized enterprises to locate to, according to a manager of a new jobs initiative hoping to create 5,000 jobs.
ConnectIreland aims to create jobs in Ireland by harnessing the power of ordinary Irish people’s global connections, with the hope of attracting companies that are expanding internationally to Ireland and create new jobs in the Irish economy.
At the recent Co Council meeting, ConnectIreland’s Alan Gallagher told councillors Longford could be perfectly suited for a small international business to set up their Irish or European headquarters.
“All the big companies are already in Ireland so we’re looking for the small-to-medium sized enterprises because they’re mobile. They’re not necessarily looking for Dublin or Cork; they’re looking for a turn-key office space for eight or nine staff and I believe Longford has those facilities,” Mr Gallagher said.
ConnectIreland will pay €1500 for every job created to any person who informs ConnectIreland of a company that is planning to expand internationally. If ConnectIreland find the company suitable, the individual will be asked to set up a meeting with a decision maker in that company. After that, ConnectIreland will step in and work with that company to help it locate to Ireland.
“This is something different that’s never be done before. We want to engage the 70 million Irish people all around the world to find out who’s expanding and who’s moving abroad. It’s an opportunity for everyone in the country to create jobs in Ireland and be financially rewarded for it too,” Mr Gallagher said.
“You don’t need to know the CEO, just a contact to get us in touch with the company and we’ll do the rest,” he added.
ConnectIreland, a private company, have been appointed by the Irish Government and the IDA to deliver the ‘Succeed in Ireland’ initiative, which is part of the Irish Government’s 2012 Action Plan for Jobs.
“If someone is unemployed it is costing the state on average €18,000 a year; all we are asking from the government is €4,000 if we create a job. We have invested €5 million so the only people who can lose is Connect Ireland,” Mr Gallagher informed the councillors who appeared to be hanging on to his every word.
After four weeks in operation, ConnectIreland have made significant progress with over 100 companies who are considering to expand internationally.
Reacting to the presentation, Fine Gael Cllr John Duffy said Longford was already ahead of the curve as it had began to create an inventory of the available premises in the county. On hearing this Mr Gallagher set the Council a target of compiling the findings of the survey by the end of April to be ready for any potential investor in the county.
Cllr Martin Mulleady (FF) was delighted the initiative was privatised. “It’s good to see someone with a bit of bite in their belly, and I’m delighted it’s in private control with a company who will really want to fight for these jobs because they won’t get paid if they don’t.”
These sentiments were shared by Cllr Mulleady’s party colleague, Padraic Loughrey. “The IDA trod out figures but we have always been the poor relation when it comes to getting jobs into the county. It really helps to have people on board who have a financial initiative to bring jobs to Longford.”