Eircom is set to invest €18m in creating nearly 400 jobs over the coming five years in what will be the communications firm’s most significant recruitment programme for almost 30 years.
The money is being spent on new apprentice and graduate programmes aimed at enhancing the company’s skills base and building “an innovative, national communications network across Ireland”. In all, 375 places will be filled between this year and 2020.
Last year, Eircom exceeded its cost savings target of €100m and said that an extra €50m in savings over the next three years will come via non-pay costs like IT support, transportation and utility cost reductions.
Following 2,500 redundancies in recent years, the company said it was comfortable with a workforce size of 3,500 people.
Yesterday’s announcement, according to the company’s chief executive Richard Moat, forms “an integral part” of the group’s growth strategy.
“We are the only company in the telecommunications sector investing in people at scale, providing excellent sustainable employment. This is a key element in the ongoing transformation of the group,” Mr Moat added.
The new programme will see 300 jobs come from the apprenticeship programme, which is open to anyone who has passed their Leaving Certificate. Sixty applicants will be recruited per year, with this year’s programme set to commence in September.
The initiative will include on-the-job training, one-to-one coaching and classroom training. Applicants will work in areas of customer service and repair and maintenance and top performers will be offered permanent roles with the company.
The graduate programme will see 15 honours graduates recruited per year and see them work on business improvement projects.
The new programme follows a similar one trialled by Eircom four years ago. Of the 75 apprentices who signed up in 2011, 55 remain in full-time positions.
Communications Minister Alex White said Eircom’s overall investment plans will help create the conditions for further job creation in local economies and will aid the Government’s plans to exceed its original target of helping to create 100,000 new jobs by 2016.
He added that these schemes are the kind of skills development that will drive Ireland’s recovering economy.
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