There are unfulfilled vacancies in companies across the midland region – while at the same time, hundreds of talented people are leaving the area every morning to undertake the gruelling daily commute to Dublin.
In an effort to bring employers and potential staff together, the Chamber of Commerce has organised a Midlands Career Expo, which is to take place at the National Science Park in Mullingar on Saturday March 23.
More than 50 midlands-based employers with open vacancies in a wide range of sectors will be attending.
“There are many companies in the midlands operating in very exciting areas of business looking to attract more staff to meet demand for their products and service – but a shortage of experienced staff is a recurring challenge for all these organisations,” reveals John Hunt, MD of the Mullingar firm TEG, a member of the Chamber of Commerce team organising the event.
Shirley Kiernan, commercial manager with Pharmaforce (Pharmed), also promoting the event, says that there are great opportunities in the pharma field, while John adds that there are “most definitely” opportunities in engineering.
It’s not all about qualifications: “We’re looking for experience,” says John. “The sort of people we’re looking for are those people who have gone abroad, or who have gone working in Dublin; who are experienced, but who might not know there are jobs suitable for their experience here in the midlands.
“It’s not qualifications: it’s experience. Come back here, bring up your family here, in the midlands instead of living in cramped accommodation in Dublin.”
Frank Dillon, who is co-ordinating the event, says the quality of life on offer in the midlands can be a major attraction, especially for families with young children – and as a veteran of the commuting process, Shirley recalls what tough going it was to drop her son off for child-minding at 7am and then catching the 7.26am train to Dublin, and getting back in the evenings around 7.20pm.
“It’s all about your work-life balance,” says Tanya Kavanagh of TEG.
The organisers are encouraging those potentially interested in a career to come along, meet the companies on the day, and to take a few hours to look around the area.
“People aren’t aware of the opportunities or where to find jobs,” says Shirley.
Entry to the event is free once participants register their details beforehand on www.midlandscareerexpo.ie.
Launching the Midlands Career Expo, which is taking place on Saturday March 23, from left, organisers Tanya Kavanagh of TEG, Saoirse Malone, Irish Manufacturing Research; Frank Dillon, co-ordinator, Shirley Kiernan, Pharmaforce (Pharmed), and John Hunt, TEG.