An air of employment positivity descended upon Athlone on Monday of this week with a formal announcement by Ericsson of plans to create 250 jobs at their state-of-the-art research and development campus in Athlone to support the company’s ongoing development of innovative cloud-native products that orchestrate, automate and power its global 5G portfolio.
The highly skilled roles, which include opportunities for software developers, data scientists, architects, cloud and mobile communication engineers at all career stages, will be added over the next three years, a project supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
One of Ireland’s largest employers within software development, Ericsson has had a Research and Development (R&D ) presence in Athlone since 1979. The Athlone facility, which is the global research and development headquarters of Ericsson Digital Services OSS (Operations Support Systems ), currently employs 1200 people developing its OSS and Cloud RAN (Radio Access Network ) portfolio.
Speaking upon the jobs announcement, Denis Dullea, Head of Research and Development at Ericsson Athlone, noted that the company’s global reputation as a world-class software development centre continues to positively evolve.
“Our team here already play a critical role in the development of Ericsson products, services and solutions that enable Ericsson to deliver limitless connectivity that makes the unimaginable possible.
“We are hiring an additional 250 software developers, engineers and architects with cloud native skills to enhance our capability to deliver the benefits of cloud native technologies to our global customer base via our RAN, Management, Automation and Orchestration offerings.”
“The investment is also good news for Athlone and the wider Midlands region, where Ericsson is one of the largest employers. With strong ongoing partnerships with the IDA, the Irish Government and the recently established TUS, we are excited to continue attracting and nurturing the best and brightest Irish and international talent to the heart of Ireland,” Mr Dullea asserted.
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Athlone Mayor, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, echoed similar sentiments, acknowledging that the jobs announcement “tied in perfectly” with “growth and investment objectives for Athlone and the Midlands region.”
“Ericsson has been a very important anchor of solid employment in Athlone for almost 44 years and this expansion further enhances its presence here for many years to come.
“As the designated regional growth centre for the wider Midlands region, Athlone is a natural home for ambitious companies like Ericsson, our town proving on numerous occasions that due to its strong educational reputation we have a much sought after pipeline of highly trained, educated and motivated young people.
“We have been very fortunate to see our IDA park in Athlone and Monksland become home to many great med-tech, pharma, science, technology and medical device companies. Companies in these sectors tend to ‘cluster’ and this evolution has worked to our advantage as a town in recent years as more and more firms view Athlone as an ideal location to base and conduct business.
“The job of Westmeath County Council, in partnership with the IDA and TUS, is to ensure that the business environment and overall foundations are in place within the county to foster and support enterprise and employment, but to also ensure that Athlone is a town in which people are happy to settle, work and raise their family.
“This announcement by Ericsson, is a great endorsement of Athlone and significant validation of our reputation as a great town in which to live and conduct business,” Cllr O’Rourke commented.
Local Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan, stated that the announcement would enable the provision of “high end jobs for graduates in the research and development industry” and further encouraged the attractiveness of Athlone for future investment opportunities.
“Fast becoming the Silicon Heartlands”, local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, noted that the jobs announcement was a “ significant endorsement of Athlone as an integral part of Ericsson’s global research and development footprint from the company which has been the key driver of the software development sector across the Midlands region.
“This investment in conjunction with its existing team of 1,200 on the Ericsson campus along with local investments by Neueda Technologies, Sidero, Huawei and others, is now resulting in Athlone having a greater proportion of the workforce employed in the software sector than any other location in Ireland or the UK.
“Apart from direct employment these multinational companies have a hugely positive effect on the local economy with over eight jobs being created for every 10 jobs in multinational companies,” Deputy Naughten remarked.
Wishing the staff in Ericsson “the very best in this exciting new chapter” local Fianna Fáil Minister of State, Deputy Robert Troy, stated that the highly skilled roles in software development, engineering and cloud technologies are a very welcome development for the region, the expansion reaffirms the Midlands as a centre of excellence in the ICT sector and cloud technology.
“Ericsson is a well-established presence in Athlone and its continued success and investment in its R&D Campus is testament to the fact that Westmeath, and indeed the Midlands as a whole is a great place to do business,” Deputy Troy commented.