Some 1,500 construction jobs will be created in Ireland over the next two years as building projects involving Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific, Allergan, Microsoft, Analog Devices, Google and Apple get under way.
Last Friday’s news that Apple was to create 500 new jobs in Cork is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to construction projects made possible through an influx of inward investment.
Last year, Intel kick started a resurgence of construction in Ireland with news it is investing US$500m in a new fabrication facility for future chips. Just drive by its Leixlip, Co Kildare, operations beside the M4 motorway and you’ll see the cranes.
According to the IDA, construction projects including Eli Lilly, Boston Scientific, Allergan, Microsoft, Analog Devices, Google and Apple will lead to 1,500 new construction jobs in Ireland over the next two years.
IDA estimates, drawn from project announcements and planning data, reveal that in total 1.5m square feet of new construction will be needed, bolstering the construction industry at a particularly challenging time for the Irish economy.
The new buildings are required for the life sciences, ICT and data centre sectors and is separate to the need for office space for other IDA clients.
FDI – one of the few sources of optimism for construction sector
"If we are to achieve the levels of employment we are targeting, the construction sector will have to play a role in this," Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said.
"We all know that the sector grew to unsustainable levels during the boom – but it is equally true that it is unsustainably small now. 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," Bruton said.
IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary pointed out that the boost to construction is a spillover effect when new projects come on-stream.
“Announcements in recent days have shown the direct contribution FDI 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," O’Leary said.
The director general of the Construction Industry Federation pointed out that foreign direct investment is one of the few sources of optimism for the construction industry at a time of high unemployment for the sector.
“Many of the companies being brought to Ireland are undertaking major commercial and office construction projects to meet their needs, with the announcement by Apple that they are to construct a new building in Cork being the latest example," Parlon explained.
“The jobs and economic impact generated by these new projects will be a shot in the arm to the industry and we hope to see further investment in the months and years ahead," he added.