By Harry Keaney
Irish immigrants who have skills that are at present in short supply in Ireland can expect a "céad míle fáilte" when they return on vacation this Christmas.
More than 200 companies are participating in two recruitment fairs, on Dec. 28 in the Royal Dublin Society, in Ballsbridge, Dublin, and on Jan. 2 in the Silver Spring Hotel, in Cork.
The fairs are being organized by the Dublin-based recruitment company High Skills Pool, which is targeting more than 30,000 immigrants expected to be back in Ireland this December for the last Christmas of the millennium.
"The focus this year will be on specific jobs," the managing director of High Skills Pool, Caroline Leacy, told the Echo. She said that companies represented at the fairs will include the Kerry Group, information technology companies, educational institutions, the health boards, banks and building societies.
The jobs on offer will mainly require third-level qualifications.
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"The Irish market has never known such shortages of skilled employees," Leacy said. "Companies are very anxious to try to attract skilled Irish people home from abroad. The coincidence of the millennium this year means that we expect more young Irish to come home than ever before and we hope that these fairs will help to attract them back here on a permanent basis," she said.
Leacy added that after Dec. 15, full details of the fairs may be obtained by logging onto www.highskillspool.ie.
Europe, with its new currency accelerating the move toward full economic integration, may soon have its own Euro stock market. According to published reports, the Nasdaq, in the U.S., has been asking European securities firms if they would be interested in supporting a pan-European stock market. The plan is for a new Nasdaq market to launch in the first quarter of 2001.
Frank Zarb said NASDAQ Europe, like the market’s planned Nasdaq venture with Softbank Corp., would likely run on an internet platform.
The NASDAQ, however, is not alone in its quest to set up a Euro market. Of three other plans, one is a joint plan from eight national stock exchanges; another is from Tradepoint Financial Networks, a British electronic exchange; and a third is from EASDAQ, a Europewide market for growth stocks.
Bishops for Europe
The idea of a united Europe has gained a new group of supporters — Europe’s Catholic bishops.
In a message issued last week, as the synod of European bishops ended in Rome, the bishops said they were ready to "make our contribution to the Europe of today and tomorrow, treasuring the precious heritage left us by the founding fathers of the united Europe."
The bishops asked "those who have specific responsibility for the future of our continent" to "pursue the process of European integration with courage and urgency, widening the circle of member countries of the union," and to "respond to the growing phenomenon of migration with justice and equity and with a great sense of solidarity."
The bishops also urged the raising of voices when rights of individuals, minorities and peoples are violated, beginning with the right to religious freedom."
The bishops noted that the process of European integration "is developing according to democratic procedures, in a peaceful way and in a spirit of freedom, which respects and values legitimate diversity."
Country Bank office
Country Bank has opened its loan production and business development office at 200 East 42nd St. in Manhattan. Joe Murphy, chairman, and Bill Burke, president, as well as loan officers and business development officers, will be located at this address.
Kennedys sell "George" share
The Kennedy family is to sell off its half of George, the political magazine founded four years ago by the late John F. Kennedy Jr., who was killed in a plane crash with his wife and sister-in-law off Martha’s Vineyard last July. The Kennedy share is being bought by Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, which already owns the other half of the magazine.
Hachette is a subsidiary of the French publisher Hachette Filipacchi Medias, which publishes 28 magazines.
Bored, stressed out
For many corporations with global business, Ireland is a favorite location for their international call centers. However, for many working in these centers, it appears the work leaves much to be desired.
According to a new survey, one in five call-center workers in Ireland quit within a year because they are bored, stressed or facing unachievable sales targets. The survey found that staff turnover in many centers was in excess of 20 percent annually, while a small number had annual turnover levels running as high as 50 percent. A high levels of multilingual calls is likely to increase turnover as many foreign nationals come to Ireland to work for a short time.
However, Bill Egan, managing director of Performance Marketing, which conducted the survey, said some Irish call centers had hired the wrong type of staff and were now paying the price. "Some of the companies have made fundamental errors in the profile of the people they have hired," Egan told the Sunday Tribune newspaper. "They hired graduates . . . and the first thing they wanted to do was to find another job."