Belfast Telegraph

Construction sector gets jobs boost

Up to 1,500 construction jobs will be created when leading multinationals build new premises in Ireland, it was claimed.

IDA Ireland said the recent strong flow of foreign direct investment projects announced will deliver a significant boost for the troubled sector.

It maintained that 10 firms need over 1.5m square feet of premises, predominantly for manufacturing, that will lead to 1,500 construction jobs over two years.

Companies planning to construct new buildings are Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific, Allergan, Microsoft, Analog Devices, Google and Apple.

Barry O'Leary, IDA chief executive, said: "Announcements in recent days have shown the direct contribution foreign direct investment can make, but what is sometimes overlooked are the secondary or spillover effects.

"Chief among these is the boost to the construction trade with a demand for new build growing rapidly. This will mean fresh demand for 1,500 construction workers."

The new buildings are required for the life sciences, ICT and data centre sectors and are separate from the take up of office space by other IDA clients in Ireland in recent times.

Latest figures show the unemployment rate edged back slightly last month to 14.3%, with 434,054 on the Live Register. But the number of long-term claimants, who were signing on for a year or more, rose by 10.7% in the last 12 months to 184,465.

Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, said the construction sector has to play a role in Government targets to create 200,000 jobs in eight years.

"We all know that the sector grew to unsustainable levels during the boom - but it is equally true that it is unsustainably small now," he said. "Through the Action Plan for Jobs and Budget 2012 we will implement a series of measures to help the sector get back on its feet, and the growth of multinational companies is a small but very important part of this. This is another side of the very important work the IDA is doing and they deserve to be congratulated on this."

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