Plans for the world class Naas Kerry Group centre are due to be lodged within two weeks with construction due start in August, it was revealed at the Doing Business in 2013 conference last week.
Speaking at the Kildare County Enterprise Board event at the Keadeen Hotel last Thursday February 7, Eoin O’Connell from the Kerry Group explained it had embarked on a recruitment drive to fill the 900 positions although some existing staff would be relocating. It was the first time the plans were unveiled in public.
“We are in the process of making major announcements in Europe. We will be talking to employees that we will be asking to move. A lot of them won’t be able to. There is going to be an awful lot of recruitment in Ireland. We are already looking at that. We have two or three people that are even commuting to the UK. We are pretty sure we are going to find the people that we need in the area,” he told the busy conference and trade show.
He also pointed out they may also have to look outside Ireland for people with different language capabilities to deal with clients from different parts of the world. He invited anyone who was interested in applying for a job to send their CV to email@example.com
The CEO of Kerry Groups Ingredients and Flavours described the scale of the company with 240,000 people working in 25 countries and 150 manufacturing facilities.
The Tralee native told of how Chestnut House in Millennium Park already had 80 workers in place. He explained that they hoped to have 120 research and development staff at Hawthorn House, and 100 employees at Birch House by the end the year. In total, the company hopes to have 300 people up and running in Millennium Park by the end of 2013.
Mr O’Connell displayed artistic impressions of the centre. He told how the four blocks, which will be linked, will cater for customer suites designed to the various clients designs, labs, a technical centre, research and development work and business teams,
He noted his American clients are delighted with the views of the Wicklow mountains from the proposed centre. He said the plans were 95% complete but some things were still being finalised. He said there may be a new interchange needed at a later stage.
“If the things stay on schedule, we will be clearing the site in May and start construction in August,” he said.
By the end of September 2014, the company plan to move in the equipment and furnishings.
“We would be expecting it will be early 2015 when our employees actually start to work out of the centre,” he added.
“In April/May we started looking at sites. We looked into the UK and Holland. We drove around the greater Dublin area including Kildare and we looked at 12 or 13 sites and eventually we decided on Naas. The site was the one that met all our requirements.”
He said the centre would have a significant impact on Kildare in terms of jobs for the area, and people moving here to work. He anticipated 80 to 100 staff will relocate from other parts of Europe. Staff will also be needed for financial operations, Human resources, ICT and administration.
He stressed; “We are already looking at some flats or apartments that we could rent. A couple of my executives are already bought houses here.”
He said other benefits included partnership with local banks, use of local hotels for conferences and meetings, and a boost to local trade,
“There will be visitors and we want to showcase what Kildare has to offer and Ireland,” he said. He outlined they would be hiring 150 graduates in 2013 and he pointed out the younger employees would probably live in Dublin and travel to Naas using public transport. He thanked the Government, Kildare County Council, North Kildare Chamber, Kildare VEC, NUI Maynooth, recruitment agencies and Osberstown for their support.
- Niamh O’Donoghue