Jaguar jobs in Shannon 'good for Limerick'

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

It has been confirmed that Jaguar-Land Rover is to create 150 new jobs in the area’s free zone

It has been confirmed that Jaguar-Land Rover is to create 150 new jobs in the area’s free zone

“WHAT’S good for Shannon is good for Limerick, and what’s good for Limerick is good for Shannon.”

The words of Fine Gael senator Kieran O’Donnell after it was confirmed that Jaguar-Land Rover is to create 150 new jobs in the area’s free zone.

As exclusively revealed in the Limerick Leader last September – the iconic British car marque is to open a software engineering centre in a huge space adjacent to Shannon Airport.

“Shannon and Limerick enjoy a symbiotic relationship. These 150 jobs are at a landmark location out by Shannon Airport. They should be very welcomed. They are a premium employer, it's going to be a huge software centre there. It shows the confidence in the region and Shannon,” said Mr O’Donnell, who is Fine Gael’s business spokesperson in the Upper House.

The company said it had selected Shannon as the town is a globally recognised centre of excellence for software engineering talent.

The firm is looking for software engineers with experience in a range of disciplines such as artificial intelligence, safety critical systems and vehicle architecture.

They will work in a research and development centre, based in a newly-created state-of-the-art building in the Shannon Free Zone, and will help design new driverless cars, which are hoped to be on the roads in the coming years.

Limerick Chamber chief executive Dr James Ring said: “I’m delighted. It’s very positive, and great to see such a high-profile brand pick the Mid-West too. When you have a brand like this, it can set up anywhere in the world. So I think it’s a real endorsement of what we’re trying to do in this region.”

He pointed to a number of other “world leaders” that are at present operating in the Mid-West region, including Analog Devices and Northern Trust.

“It shows we are doing something right. We have the likes of Dell, Analog, Northern Trust and Regeneron. All these huge brands. And there’s a reason they are coming here. It’s because of the quality of life, the talent pool, and the airport plays a major role in all of this,” he added.

Fianna Fail’s jobs and enterprise spokesperson Niall Collins added: “These are high-end jobs which are to be welcomed, and it’s proof the Mid-West region has a lot going for it in terms of attracting inward investment.

“It’s very significant, as it shows to other potential inward investment opportunities that the brand mix we have is very good. We have world leaders across many sectors.”

Cllr Vivienne Crowley, who chairs the economic committee, believes Limerick people will be the prime beneficiaries of these roles.

”Shannon is so closely linked with the city, and we have such a good road out to it too,” she said.

Jaguar has, as part of this move, agreed a partnership with online education provider Udacity, which specialises in courses such as automated driving, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analytics.

These courses will provide the skills to support Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering capabilities and ongoing technological innovation in a fast-moving industry.