County managers from Laois and Offaly attended a breakfast briefing in Kilkenny Castle recently to learn how Offaly and Laois can participate and benefit from the Connect Ireland jobs initiative. This simple locally-based programme was unveiled by Irish entrepreneur Terry Clune, founder of international tax consultancy www.taxback.com, in conjunction with the Government and the IDA. It aims to create at least 5,000 jobs in Ireland over the next 5 years with approximately 120 of these earmarked for the midlands.
Terry commented at the launch, “I believe in Ireland. I believe in it strongly as a fantastic place to do business. And I believe that the people of the midlands have the power and the contacts to attract business to and create jobs for their county. Our mission is to attract companies which are expanding internationally to locate in Ireland and create new jobs for the Irish economy”.
ConnectIreland.com is calling on the people of Laois and Offaly to use their contacts to open up new avenues of communication to ultimately lead to job creation in Ireland. Under the initiative, any person who introduces a company to ConnectIreland which creates jobs will be paid a minimum of €1,500 per job, up to a maximum of 100 jobs. The reward is payable in two stages - 50 per cent after one year of the job being created, and 50 per cent after two years. Connect Ireland will be paid by the State on a success only basis, for each job created through ConnectIreland. This payment will range from €1,000 to €2,500, payable two years after each job has been created.
The ConnectIreland.com program is open to everyone across the world.
Terry continued, “Wherever you come from, if you can introduce our team to a company which is expanding internationally, we want to speak with you. Ultimately, we want to speak with a decision maker in an expanding company. We will explain why they should locate in Ireland. Tell everybody you know about ConnectIreland. Talk to your aunt in America, your cousin in Asia, your neighbour’s friend, your old college roommate … remember everybody has connections. They just need to know what to look for. Through your contacts, introduce our team to a company that’s expanding internationally. Our team will manage your introduction from there, and explain why they should locate into Ireland. If they do, you will earn a financial reward for you”.
According to Terry, “Assume one unemployed person gets a job in a company that came through ConnectIreland. The Connector will receive a reward after one year. However the State will save on reduced social welfare costs immediately. The average annual cost to the State of one unemployed person is €18,000, (€36,000 over two years). In addition, the State will accrue taxation on the new employment, through income tax, PRSI, plus vat on fuel, food, etc.”
Terry concluded, “We have a dedicated professional team of 30 based in Kilkenny, Ireland, who are the central point of contact for all introductions. Our team also includes experienced foreign direct investment specialists to work with companies and help them understand why they should choose Ireland. If you are a small internet company in the US or China or Brazil and you are told that Google, Yahoo, YouTube and Facebook have all their European operations in Ireland, you are going to take interest. We just need to get that message out there. This initiative is open to absolutely everybody; there are three million Irish people above the age of 18. Together we all know a huge amount of people.”
* Step 1 – Register & create your online account to stay in touch.
* Step 2 – Speak with your contacts to identify a suitable company where you have a connection. Typically, the company needs to be expanding, be export focussed, and not already be in discussions with the Irish authorities.
* Step 3 – Enter the company details into your online account. Your account manager will phone you. If it’s what we’re looking for, we’ll ask you to set up a telephone appointment for us with a senior company decision maker.
* Step 4 –Provided that phone appointment goes ahead, you will be deemed to be the official introducer.
* Step 5 –Our team will manage your introduction from there, convincing the company to locate in Ireland. You can follow our progress through your online account, and your account manager.
* Step 6 –Once the company establishes in Ireland, your account manager will let you know.
* Step 7 –You will receive a financial reward for each job created by that company over a three year period, subject to a minimum of €4,500 if 3 jobs are created, and a maximum of €150,000 if 100 jobs or more are created.
For example if 20 jobs have been created from your introduction, you will receive a reward of €30,000, payable half at the end of the first year of the job being created, and half at the end of the second year. You can decide to keep the reward, or donate it to your preferred charity.