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Business Briefs Irish job fairs abroad attracting big crowds

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

Yet more proof of interest in Ireland as a place to work was evident in Britain last weekend when more than 5,000 people attended a Jobs Ireland Recruitment Fair in Birmingham.

Organizers of the recruitment fair had expected about 3,000 to attend.

Jobs Ireland will move to Cape Town, South Africa, Nov. 26-27, and to the Olympia Conference Center in Kensington, London, on Dec. 9-10.

Meanwhile, hoteliers in Ireland have asked the government to introduce a £2,000 tax break for homemakers to entice them to re-enter the workforce. According to the Irish Hotels Federation, there are between 7,000 to 10,000 vacancies that must be filled before the start of the next tourist season.

The chief executive of the IHF, John Power, said there was currently too much red tape which was stalling recruitment and creating difficulties for both employers and immigrants. The IHF has also called for a personal tax allowance of up to £4,000 a year for child-care payments.

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Skilled workers are also being sought in many sectors in Ireland, particularly in information technology, software, pharmaceuticals, construction and nursing.

Preparing for the euro

Before anything new is introduced these days, it seems it must be preceded by some kind of campaign, be it marketing, information or advertising. The same goes for the euro, Europe’s new currency, the notes and coins of which will be introduced on Jan. 1, 2002.

Many business transactions are already being done in euros, but now, the European Central Bank has hired one of Europe’s largest advertising agencies, Publicis Groupe, to undertake an informational campaign in advance of the full-scale launch of the new currency.

The immediate problem, of course, for the euro is its low value on currency markets. For Americans, however, this is an advantage. With a strong dollar, U.S. tourists are now finding better value than ever when they travel to Europe. And that includes Ireland too.

Meanwhile, Allied Irish Bank has introduced a quarterly bulletin, called Euro Day Countdown, to assist its business customers in preparing for the changeover to the new currency. Point out that it’s never too early to start preparing, the first issue of the bulletin lists 10 areas that should be addressed. These include accounting, bank accounts, cash handling, competition, computer systems and software, cross-border payments, dual display of prices, e-commerce, marketing and sales, and training.

Fraud clampdown

The Irish authorities are continuing their crackdown on welfare fraud. And the results are eye opening.

For the first nine months of this year, fraud and abuse control measures yielded savings of £159 million, according to Social, Community and Family Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern. He added that this was an increase of £25 million on the same period last year.

The continuing clampdown on fraud and abuse resulted in 126 cases being finalized in court, with prison sentences or suspended sentences having been imposed on 15 people.

More than 600 department staff are now working on investigative duties.

A new site

Yet another new website aimed at ethnic groups abroad, including the Irish, has made its debut. The latest site, www.need2have.com/ireland, provides another source for Irish news and, of course, Irish foods, such as Club orange, Barry’s tea, Alanna steak source, John West kipper fillets and more.

IFI funding

Congressman Joe Crowley and Congresswoman Nita Lowey have announced a $5.4 million increase to the International Fund for Ireland. The increase was included in the Fiscal Year 2001, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill which was passed last week by the House of Representatives. President Clinton has stated that he will sign the bill into law.

IBO meeting

Following their recent gala ball, members of the Irish Business Organization of New York are now preparing for their next monthly meeting, which will be held Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. in the Shelburne Hotel at 303 Lexington Ave., NYC.

New officers will be appointed. President Jennifer Confrey has been nominated to run unopposed for a second term.

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