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State-backed jobs return to boom figures

Enda Cunningham

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The number of people in ‘agency-assisted’ jobs in Galway is at its highest level since the Celtic Tiger boom, according to new figures.

And the city and county are hugely reliant on foreign-owned manufacturing companies for employment, the research shows.

The newly-published report from the Western Development Commission on businesses which have received assistance from IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta shows there were 23,655 people in such jobs in 2013.

‘Modern Manufacturing’ (which includes medical devices and Information and Communications Technology) is the biggest employer in Galway, with 8,750 permanent jobs.

In fact, manufacturing plays a bigger role in employment in the West than anywhere else in the country – more than one in every ten such jobs in the State are in Galway.

The figures also show that Galway has the third-highest share in Ireland of agency-assisted jobs as a share of total jobs at 23.5%.

“This is the third highest share in Ireland after Cork and Dublin. The total number currently employed in assisted companies in Galway is similar to the pre-recession levels and close to the highest of the ten year period.

“3,500 were working on a temporary/part-time basis. This is the highest share of such jobs among the western counties, reflecting a high proportion of non-permanent employment, fourth highest in the country,” the report reads.

The figures also show that 60% of the jobs were created by foreign-owned companies.

Galway was hit worse by the economic collapse than any other western county, but still managed to make a strong recovery.

“Between Galway’s highest year (2007) and its lowest (2009) there was a decline of 17.2% in jobs. This included the loss of over half of all temporary/part-time jobs and a decline of 8.2% in permanent jobs.

“Galway’s overall performance was worse than the Western Region as a whole (down 13.6%) between 2007 and 2009. The main reason for the difference was a far greater loss of temporary/part-time jobs in Galway where this type of employment was more significant.

“One feature of the recent recovery is that, although the total number of jobs in Galway in 2013 is very similar to 2007, 1,000 more of these are permanent. The share of full-time jobs in Galway has increased with the post-recession recovery,” the report reads.

CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

GMIT warns partying students they are delaying return to campus

Enda Cunningham

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Partying students have been told their actions have impacted GMIT’s plans to re-start practical classes on campus – and Gardaí are monitoring the city’s bus and train stations to catch those breaking the 5km travel restriction by returning home for the weekend.

College authorities said the current “extremely serious outbreak” of Covid-19 among students in Galway City was caused by a small minority who are “moving and mixing between different households”.

Following a meeting with Gardaí last week, GMIT contacted all students to clarify that because there are no ‘onsite’ classes, there should be no need to travel for educational purposes.

“The Gardaí have notified us that there will be checks at the bus and train stations to implement the 5km travel rule, as well as checkpoints on the roads, and that fines will be given for any non-compliance with this rule,” students were told.

In a separate communication issued this week, the college’s Covid Officer appealed to students to abide by the rules.

“This outbreak has had an impact on our plans with regard to return to onsite practical work, with consequences for all students.

“We are appealing to all students to comply with all Covid restrictions and in doing so, to help ensure that those students who have to return to onsite practical work can do so,” the email read.

Many students from outside the city have opted to stay in their accommodation for access to better broadband.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story and more coverage of Covid figures and vaccinations, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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