LIMERICK has received its first major jobs boost of 2017, with Canadian firm Optel Vision announcing 100 new roles in Raheen.

The high-tech company, which provides solutions to the manufacturing industry, is more than doubling its local workforce.

And hundreds more jobs could be created at its base in the former ONSemiconductor factory, as company bosses plan to make Limerick a “hub” of its global activity.

“We are investing a lot of money here. A lot of good people are going to be here, well-trained with a lot of experience,” explained Etienne Pellerin, the hardware design and configuration director with the firm.

The roles on offer at Optel Vision in Limerick include jobs for process engineers, process assembly technicians, field service engineers, and technical support specialists.

 

Timmy Hayes, the firm’s human resources and recruitment manager, said the filling of the jobs will kick off immediately.

Optel Vision will hold an open day on February 2, where it will outline the positions on offer.

Mr Hayes added that Optel Vision’s parent company, Optel Group is expanding into other areas, including the fields of pharmaceutical, medical devices and technology, taking advantage of the city’s strong community of companies in these fields.

“The company has identified Limerick as a potential hub from the medical devices point of view," he explained.

Mr Pellerin added: “The skillset of the people in Limerick is in line with what we are going in terms of the company. There is a strong pool of talent here. This centre is key to our future.”

Founded in Quebec, Canada, Optel Vision initially opened its European headquarters in Limerick back in 2014, and has 72 people on its books in Raheen at present.

Globally, it employs some 720 people across four sites.

Separately, local councillors have set the wheels in motion for a further expansion at General Motors’ operation at Dooradoyle.

They unanimously voted through plans to lease office space to the motoring giant at this Monday’s metropolitan district meeting.

Sources have indicated that this decision will pave the way for a doubling of its workforce locally.

The firm already employs around 100 people in logistics and technical support.

Fine Gael councillor Daniel Butler has welcomed the decision by members, saying: “It means more jobs, and it has to be welcomed. And it's a double-whammy as it means we’re getting revenue from General Motors."

Cllr Joe Leddin added: “General Motors is a well-known multinational company, and we should do everything we can to facilitate them.”

Kieran Lehane, the metropolitan district manager at Limerick City and County Council endorsed the move by GM, saying that it will encourage staff to spend more in the locality,  adding that the move is a "terrific vote of confidence".

Metropolitan mayor Michael Hourigan hailed the announcement as being “incredible news for Limerick”