APPLE has announced that it is to expand its operation in Cork, and in the process will create more than 500 jobs. The news has been described as a “huge boost” for the Irish economy.
The company plans to construct a new office block which will accommodate the additional staff over the coming 18 months.
Apple’s European headquarters is in Hollyhill where it currently employs nearly 2,800 people in distribution, supply chain and back-office operations.
“Apple has been in Cork for over 30 years and we are thrilled to be expanding our presence there.” A spokesperson said. “Our plans will add over 500 new jobs to support the companies growing business across Europe.”
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, department officials and the Irish Development Authority (IDA) have all been closely involved in talks with Apple about the project for a number of months now.
Bruton said: “It is a great testament to the company’s workforce, a great vote of confidence in the future of our economy, and it shows what is possible for Ireland at the heart of a stable Europe.” IDA Ireland also welcomed the news, saying the investment would provide a significant boost to employment locally.
Apples plant in Hollyhill, north Cork was established in 1980, and was its first base outside the US. During the mid-1990s, it was the main production centre for the Mac G3 and the iMac, Apple’s core products, and it employed 1,900 people.
However, when that production was later outsourced to plants in Wales and Singapore, with the loss of 450 jobs, the feeling in Cork at the time was that it was just a matter of time before the entire Apple operation would eventually be closed down.
However, as we all know now, the iPod was a huge success and Apple started to hire again. It now plays a major role in Apple’s supply chain in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Hollyhil also assembles the Mac Pro.
Cork Chamber president John Mullins commented that the expansion plans by Apple will bring the total workforce employed to 3,300 and was a huge boost for the local economy.
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