Amazon to invest in new 170,000 sq ft campus in Charlemont Square
Source: Irish Times
Tech giant Amazon will create 1,000 permanent jobs in Ireland over the next two years, bringing the company’s total workforce in Ireland to 5,000.
The company is also planning a new campus at Charlemont Square, which will open in 2022.
Recruitment is already under way for the jobs, announced on Monday, which are mainly in highly-skilled roles and include engineering roles in software development, network development, systems development, optical deployment, database, development ops, and support engineers.
The company is also seeking data centre technicians and mechanical and electrical engineers, solutions architects, security specialists, big data specialists, technical programme managers, with a number of non-technical programme roles and account managers also being recruited.
Amazon said a significant number of the new roles would be based at its Dublin offices in Tallaght, Blanchardstown and the city centre, but Cork would also see a bump in recruitment.
A significant number of roles will be available to those who want to work from home. The company already has a couple of hundred people in Cork, Kerry, Limerick and around Dublin who work full time from home.
“Before the whole Covid crisis started, we had begun recruiting people to work from home permanently for certain roles,” Mike Beary, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Ireland country manager said. “That’s the nature of the jobs that they are in. We see that continuing.”
However, there will still be a need for some office-based roles and, with the current office on Burlington Road around capacity, the 15,800sq m (170,000sq ft) campus at Charlemont Sq was secured.
There will be other functions for the new building, including space for start-ups to come in and collaborate with AWS technology teams. “As people are trying to get their businesses up and running, they will be able to come in and work from that location if they want to,” Mr Beary said.
It will also have space for a customer area to teach customers about AWS technology and hold training classes, interacting with the engineering teams as companies begin to migrate their business to the cloud.”
The company previously announced 1,000 jobs over two years in June 2018; those jobs were filled over 18 months, and the company is expecting to fill the new roles faster than the two-year deadline it has promised.
“We see a fair degree of momentum in all of our businesses, whether that’s the retail side or, more importantly on the Dublin campus, the AWS side. We see a lot more of our customers migrating to the cloud,” he said. “We are cautiously optimistic that we will hit the thousand jobs within the two years.”
The current coronavirus crisis has spurred many businesses to accelerate their move to the cloud, leading to an increase in demand for AWS services.
“We had seen a lot of momentum even before Covid crisis, but I think it’s fair to say the Covid crisis has accelerated the momentum somewhat. It depends on the industry that you’re in. If you think about how people’s lives have changed in the last three or four months, whether it’s a Zoom call for work, or watching Netflix, Disney+ or Amazon Prime – all those streaming services are running on the cloud.
“You are seeing more and more people much more comfortable or aware of how much the cloud is part of everyday life now. Those kind of signals are what gives us confidence that we can add these new roles.”
Amazon has been building its base in Ireland for about a decade. Mr Beary says that in the past eight years, the group has invested about €2 billion in the Irish economy. Adding in the subcontractors and suppliers, some of whom now work with Amazon on a global scale, that figure rises to about €5 billion, he says.
“Ireland is seen as a really attractive place for us to hire and grow. It was the first place outside North America to build data centre infrastructure, and so it remains one of the most significant locations for AWS around the world,” he said.
“We’ve done a lot more on our software engineering and research side over past couple of years. What we’ve been able to demonstrate is that we have been able to attract and retain those high-calibre jobs, and people are happy to come work for us or to move to Ireland to take up roles for us. Part of the confidence is the track record in the past several years where we have been able to get great talent.That is probably the most important factor for us. Ireland stacks really highly in the Amazon eco-system for that reason.”
Responding to the announcement, Mark Redmond, chief executive of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, said it was time for Ireland to double down on retaining and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
“The scale of this announcement – one of the largest in the history of the State – demonstrates Ireland’s global reputation as a great location for talent and innovation,” he said. “We need to fight hard to protect and enhance that reputation as the competition globally for FDI jobs has never been as intense.
“It’s estimated that for every 1,000 jobs created by multinationals here, a further 800 are created in the domestic economy.
“The most recent full-year data available from 2018 shows that multinationals spent almost €10 billion on payroll, over €6.3 billion on goods and services and €5.3 billion on capital expenditure in the Irish economy,” Mr Redmond said.
IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan welcomed the news. “Amazon’s phenomenal growth in Ireland is due to its commitment, energy, and creativity in how it does business and we are delighted to support them in their further expansion.
“These new roles, in addition to the thousands that Amazon has already here are a strong indicator of Ireland’s continued ability to attract quality global investment, despite the significant challenges created by Covid-19.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the jobs announcement was “a further vote of confidence in the skills and talent of Irish people and will provide a welcome boost to our economy”.
In September, Amazon’s wind farm project at Esk in Co Cork will come on stream. It will be Amazon’s first operational renewable energy project outside the US.
The company said this would deliver clean energy to Ireland’s electric grid. It will also help Amazon to meet its commitment to power its global operations with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025 as part of its goal to reach net zero carbon by 2040.
A second wind farm in Co Donegal is set to come online next year, and Amazon is also contributing to a district heating scheme that will be implemented in Tallaght, with the excess heat generated by its servers used to heat buildings in the local area.