ONE of the world’s biggest companies – General Motors – could make a major announcement about establishing a key logistics division in the Limerick region over the coming months.
The Detroit-based, billion dollar company –home to major car brands such Opel, Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet – has begun to recruit for 50 graduates from the Mid-West, but sources said the company is seeking to establish between 300 and 500 jobs over a number of years.
“The 50 jobs on offer at the moment is the very thin end of the wedge. An announcement is imminent, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. They are looking at a number of different locations and the best proposals put to them. It would be super news for Limerick if it’s signed off,” said one source.
An announcement has been made to students in Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) in recent weeks, urging them to be aware of the job prospects which are coming on track for IT and software students.
Those giving the representations to students in a recent information evening on CIT’s campus were not identified in any capacity, as “the company wants to make a major announcement” when all the details are finalised.
“The good news is there is going to be a major announcement, but everyone has been trying to keep it secret due to confidentiality clauses,” they told the Leader.
A spokesperson for the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said he was not unaware of any jobs announcement for the region, however Labour Minister Jan O’Sullivan said she has been made aware of the plans.
Fine Gael deputy Kieran O’Donnell also said he is “aware of a possibility of a jobs announcement”.
He would not comment further except to say he would “continue to fight for jobs for Limerick”.
Fianna Fail deputy Niall Collins said any jobs announcement for Limerick would be “most welcome as the city is still suffering from the loss of Dell, and has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.”
It is understood General Motors has been in talks with a number of educational institutions throughout the country, including the University of Limerick, NUIG, LIT and CIT for some time with regard to producing “tailor-made” or “feeder” graduates primed to take up these high-skilled jobs.
When contacted by this newspaper, a media spokesperson for General Motors said they could not comment at present about any potential announcement, and added that any new base would be announced in due course through the proper channels.
UL and LIT have made no public announcement on the potential jobs boost for the Limerick or Shannon region, but CIT issued a clear indicator on their Facebook page last Monday, April 22.
It read: “We have recently been informed that a services and logistics division of one of the top 30 Dow Jones, Fortune 500, firms will be established in the Limerick/Shannon region over the next few months. Until the announcement has been formally made we cannot reveal the name of the firm. They are looking for 50 graduates immediately to take part in a SAP Boot Camp during June and July, this will be followed by a 12-week job placement at the end of which graduates will be formally hired”.
This post was removed from their page this Wednesday, however it was retweeted a number of times on the social networking site Twitter in the past week.
General Motors has over 212,000 employees working in 396 facilities in six continents, and had a net income of $4.9bn last year, down from down from $7.6bn in 2011.