Welcome news for the county came from Irish Pressing’s yesterday as they announced that 30 new jobs will be created at the Gaoth Dobhair based manufacturing facility.
Founded in 2005 by brothers Declan and Brendan Ward, Irish Pressings specialises in the design and manufacture of tooling, metal stampings, welded assemblies, projection welding and prototyping services.
The announcement comes after Údarás na Gaeltachta launched their Annual Report for 2021, where 286 new jobs were created in the Donegal Gaeltacht over the past 12 months, signifying the largest number of jobs created in a single year in the county since 2008. Irish Pressing’s growing reputation internationally has contributed to the rise, with employment growing over fifty per cent in the past 18 months with 104 people now employed in its Gaoth Dobhair base. This year it is anticipated that a further thirty roles will be filled with opportunities across all sectors of the business.
Speaking on the announcement, Managing Director, Declan Ward outlined how Covid-19 presented opportunities, rather than challenges to the business:
“It is in times like these that the greatest opportunities arise. Covid-19 ripped traditional supply chains apart and is yielding huge opportunities for companies with the ability and agility to position themselves to take advantage of these openings.”
The company has managed to secure substantial contracts from manufacturers across the UK and mainland Europe who might previously have sought to award the work to suppliers in China, India and other parts of Asia.
The job announcement comes at a time where Irish Pressings are looking to expand their breadth of skills within the business. Current vacant roles include; Production Operators, Quality Engineers, Project Engineers, graduate Engineers, Sales Engineers and a HR Generalist.
On top of this, they are looking to engage with secondary school students across the county and offer further education and training through their apprenticeship programmes.
“Both myself and Brendan started out as apprentices so we know full well the value of providing apprenticeship opportunities to young people,” he said.
One of the Irish Pressings founders core goals are to provide opportunity and employment so young people do not have to leave the county. “Providing young people with the opportunities to live, learn and work here at home without compromising any of their career ambitions has always been a primary motivator for me, as I had to leave and work abroad when I was starting out.”
Speaking on the quality and talent of the workforce in the county, Declan mentions “The success of Irish Pressings to-date has been due to our employees and across the organisation we have some fantastic success stories.”
Over the past 12 months, the company also has tapped into the diaspora as a source of highly-skilled employees with the quality of life on offer in Donegal an attractive proposition for many who consider making the move home.
“There is no doubt that there are people out there looking to make the move home if they can find the right employer who matches their energy and appetite for success – we like to think we can match the expectations of those people.
“Over the past few months we’ve been fortunate enough to attract some really experienced professionals to the team who have relocated from Dublin and overseas,” Mr Ward said.
Irish Pressings is facing a busy 2022 with new projects coming on-stream that will see components being designed, engineered, manufactured and exported to some of the most recognisable car brands in the world.
With customers including companies such as Honda, BMW, Nissan, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Mercedes, Opel and Fiat, Irish Pressings are preparing for a busy 2022 with existing contracts and new opportunities in the areas of Green & Clean Tech.
“We are constantly seeking to diversify and innovate however and have identified very real opportunities for us to utilise our design and engineering expertise to collaborate on new product solutions across sectors that can help in the global challenges associated with climate change. This area of innovation, R&D and prototyping will be a key aspect of the company’s direction in the years ahead,” the Managing Director explained.
“We’ve been here in Gweedore for almost 17 years now but in many ways it feels like we’re just at the beginning. Hopefully we can continue to build a strong team rooted in west-Donegal that will further put Irish Pressings and the Donegal region on the global map as a centre of engineering excellence,” he added.