Pictured at the Jobs Fair: Joe Leddin, Mid-West Regional Skills Forum, Catherine Hurley, and Jim Lynch, Department of Social Protection
MORE than 200 roles in many different sectors were on offer at the South Court Hotel this week as the Mid-West jobs fair hit Limerick.
Local companies includign Dell EMC, Johnson and Johnson, Carebright, General Motors and Adare Manor had stands at the fair, as hundreds of jobseekers young and old streamed in.
”It’s all about trying to match people up, the unemployed and people who are looking at jobs and career changes,” said Jim Lynch, the divisional manager of the Department of Social Protection.
As well as jobs on offer, there was also opportunities for people looking to engage in education programmes to make themselves work-ready to chat to colleges.
One of these was Sophie Nied, who lives in the city centre. She spoke to advisors from the University of Limerick with a view to enrolling on a post-graduate course in occupational therapy.
Since she graduated from St Angela’s College in Sligo, she has been working in retail and call centres.
“I graduated a year ago, and have just done various jobs. These improved my communications skills. But I would be looking into working in something in the field I’ve actually studied in. Occupational therapy is an interest of mine, my mother is a social worker, and it’s something I feel I could do,” she said.
Among the firms present were Duggan Systems in Patrickswell, which offers facade solutions.
Stephen Moore of the company, said they were offering a variety of roles from draftsmen to fabricators.
”Obviously, drafting people would need to have an architectural background. But for fabrication, people can just come in and they’d be shown what to do as they go along,” he said.
Mr Moore said there has been “a great response” to their offer of jobs from the public.
Two lads who were handing their CVs in to the company were Killian Doherty, Norwood Park and Jamie Byrnes of Garryowen.
The 20-year-old pair have been without employment since Christmas, and were keen to get back into the workforce.
“I’d be looking to work in fabrication. I’m unemployed at the moment, I was working in traffic management up to the autumn. To be honest, I just want to get back to earning money,” Killian said.
Jamie, who has a mechanical background, last worked for Dunnes Stores over Christmas on a seasonal basis.
There were many high-tech jobs on offer, but also positions within the catering industry.
Catherine Hurley, who works for the Department of Social Protection says: “It’s an area where they are struggling to find people.”
Someone who is looking for a complete change in career is Fergal O’Grady, 40, from Drombanna.
Having worked as a farm-hand for many years, he feels the time is right to go into an office position.
”It’s time to branch out,” he said, “I came here with an open mind. I think I fancy something office based. I’m used to doing physical stuff most of my life, so it would be nice to sit behind a desk for a change.”
Robert Byrne, the business development director of Trusource Labs, which opened its European operations centre and created 134 jobs in 2016, had a number of roles on offer.
He said a number of opportunities were open at the firm, including system support.
“The thing we are really focusing on at the moment is providing technical support services for smart devices at home, smart cameras and the like,” he explained.
As well as many of Limerick’s top employers, free careers advice was on hand at the event, backed by the Department of Social Protection and the Mid-West regional skills forum.