It seems that confidence levels among digital tech companies in Ireland are on the rise.
The Irish Software Association’s (ISA) 2014 Digital Technology Index reports that 81.5 per cent of tech companies in Ireland feel more confident about their business than they did 3 months ago.
An overwhelming majority (94 per cent) of the companies surveyed also expected revenues to increase in the coming 3 months, with 87 per cent anticipating an increase in export revenues.
As a result of such optimism, 75.9 per cent of tech companies said that they had plans to take on more staff.
Despite the positive outlook, Edel Creely, ISA chair, said that the sector must still tackle some key challenges before such ambitions could be realised.
‘Access to finance remains a challenge, the Central Bank numbers show that the level of credit outstanding for the technology sector has been largely unchanged over the last two years, despite growth in the sector,’ she said.
‘The tech industry has benefited from the experience of successful entrepreneurs investing and advising new start-ups, but more need to ensure they have adequate access to finance, she added.’
On Friday last (June 20), the government of Canada announced that there would be significant changes and restructuring of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP).
There will be notable changes to temporary foreign workers’ work application procedures. For one, the TFWP will only include streams in need of government approval of jobs offered by Canadian employers. This will come in the form of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) – formally known as a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) – will be much more comprehensive than the outgoing LMO.
In addition, there will also be new assessment criteria. While the LOM process classified workers based on their occupation, the LIMA process will classify them based on their pay while in Canada. From now on only 10 per cent of an employer’s workforce can be made up of those who earn below the regional median wage.
The changes have been implemented in order to ensure that Canada’s temporary foreign worker system capable of responding quickly to the country’s labour needs while protecting the rights of both Canadians and foreign workers.
To read a full list of changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, click on the link.
The Irish economy will continue its revival in 2014, with GDP increasing from -0.3pc in 2013 to 2.0pc in 2014 according to an EY report. EY's Economic Eye Summer 2014 also forecasts that GNP will hot 3.3 per cent this year.
A number of positive factors have contributed to EY’s forecast, including the country’s exit from the Troika bailout, its re-entering the international financial markets and its improved international credit rating.
‘2014 looks set to be a significant milestone in Ireland’s nascent economic revival – before now, the recovery has been two-track, with economic growth chiefly being driven by the export and FDI sectors,’ said Mike McKerr, managing partner of EY Ireland.
‘However, we are starting to see multiplier effects feeding through to the domestic economy at last, which is highly encouraging.’
However, economic advisory to EY Economic Eye Prof Neil Gibson warned that Ireland’s continued recovery is by no means guaranteed due to ongoing issues such as poor consumer confidence, difficulties in the banking sector and the uneven pace of recovery in regions outside Dublin.
PayPal, the world’s most well-known online payments company, has announced the creation of 400 new jobs at its European Operations Centre in Dundalk.
The new positions – which include customer solutions, risk operations, telesales and merchant service – will supplement the 1000 jobs that the company announced back in 2012.
Since it was founded in 1998, PayPal has grown its account members to over 45 million worldwide. It currently employs 2,169 people in Ireland, and estimates that this number will increase to around 2,900 by 2018.
‘This is great news for Dundalk and the North East region’, said Louise Phelan, vice president of global operations for EMEA for PayPal. ‘Dundalk is a very important site in our global operations for supporting our customers. We are already ahead of schedule in recruiting our first 1,000 teammates, thanks to our continued expansion, together with the high-calibre people we have already employed.’
‘We have been delighted to be able to make a very positive impact on the lives of so many people in the area, both through our community activities and by virtue of the jobs we create, which have taken so many unemployed people off the local live register. In addition, we know that almost 1,000 indirect “spin-off” jobs in other local businesses will be created as a result of PayPal’s investment in Dundalk.’
There Irish jobs market received a boost this week with three firms announcing new jobs for Galway and Dublin.
SmartBear, a software firm headquartered in Beverly, Massachusetts, is to create 100 jobs at its new European headquarters in Galway. The company’s products are used to develop applications and to ensure they run smoothly across multiple platforms. The new roles will be created over a five-year period in the areas of sales, customer support, marketing finance and software development.
Also in technology, IT project management company Daysha Consulting has announced an investment of €1.5m to support the expansion of its business. The investment will see 15 jobs being created over the next 12 months for IT project management experts, business analysts and technical architects. The new roles will be mainly based in Dublin.
Elsewhere, fashion retailer TK Maxx has announced that it will create over 90 new jobs at its newest Irish store in the Ilac Shopping Centre on Henry Street in Dublin. The new store opens today.