Up to 600 jobs created every week, says Noonan

Finance Minister Michael Noonan, with Louis Roy, president of Optel Vision, at the official opening of the Optel Vision EMEA Office in Raheen Business Park, Limerick. Picture: Brian Gavin/Press 22

Up to 600 jobs are being created in Ireland every week, the minister for finance has told a gathering of highly skilled software engineering employees.

Michael Noonan, who officially opened the European, Middle East, and Africa offices of Optel Vision, based in the Raheen Business Park in Limerick, said he was confident the Government would achieve its target of generating 100,000 jobs.

Optel Vision, a Canadian firm specialising in vision inspection solutions for manufacturing industries, announced last October it plans to create 140 jobs in Limerick.

Mr Noonan said: “The trend now, for the third quarter of the year, is somewhere between 500 and 600 jobs a week, and they’re nearly all full-time jobs.”

“The (jobs) target we set when we campaigned, before we went into government, and then again when we went into government, was 100,000 jobs during our period of office. We have created just over 80,000 (jobs) now.”

“So, I think over the next year and a half we will fulfil our objective of 100,000 jobs. Five hundred jobs a week wasn’t our target, that’s what’s happening at present. Of course, if we can get more jobs or create more jobs we will do that,” he added.

Addressing Optel Vision staff, in a speech beamed live to the firm’s headquarters in Quebec, he said the Government was “totally committed to maintaining its current rate of corporation tax”.

In a direct message to the company’s executives listening and watching in Canada, Mr Noonan added: “We like to play tough when completing (with other countries) for FDIs (foreign direct investments).

“We think we are in a pretty good position and (foreign) companies like Optel are confident in Ireland. Five hundred jobs per week— that’s the pace now.

“There are about a 1,000 multinationals here currently employing 200,000 people. We are confident 500 to 600 jobs can be created very week now,” he added.

Mr Noonan described as “a significant increase”, yesterday’s announcement by Health Minister Leo Varadkar that an extra €115m will be spent on the country’s broken health system.



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