HomeJobsSimon Coveney stands over his claim that Ireland is over the worst...

Simon Coveney stands over his claim that Ireland is over the worst of tech jobs losses 


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Over the last year, several high-profile companies cut jobs in Ireland, with thousands lost across companies such as Accenture and VMware. Last week, it was confirmed that Tiktok would be cutting hundreds of its Irish jobs as part of global restructuring plans.

It is estimated that over 33,000 workers globally have been let go during tech sector job cuts so far this year, according to tracking firm layoffs.fyi.

Last February, Mr Coveney said Ireland was “over the worst” in job loss announcements and that the majority of cuts had already been carried out.

“I certainly think we are over the worst in terms of announcements,” he said at the time. “Of course, some of the global announcements have yet to be translated into announcements here in Ireland. But we may see a small number of further tech companies making announcements but certainly, I think we have heard the majority of the announcements that we are going to hear.”

When asked about these remarks, Mr Coveney rejected any suggestion he had been mistaken in saying Ireland was over the worst of the job cutting: 

I didn’t get it wrong. We’ve seen a lot of growth in the tech sector, as well as some job losses. 

Mr Coveney added that his comments came after he had met with tech bosses in the US.

“They [tech firms] had gone through at that stage what became a sort of first round of reductions, they would refer to it as headcount reductions. But don’t forget those companies would have grown very dramatically in the two years previous to that.”

Mr Coveney said that, despite some cuts, tech company growth in Ireland is “still strong”.

“That doesn’t mean that there aren’t sometimes announcements of reductions in headcount,” he said.

“But I think if you look at all those individual cases, most of the decisions are being made on the basis of global changes that impact on an Irish footprint. None of it is a reflection of Ireland.

There will be some companies that reduce headcount, but certainly there’ll be lots that will be adding to their headcount too.

In an interview with the Irish Examiner, Mr Coveney said that while people have lost jobs in Ireland, there are “very few examples” of people who have not then found employment with another tech firm quickly afterwards.

Asked if he was worried about companies cutting staff in Ireland and rehiring in countries with a lower cost base, such as Poland, Mr Coveney said that was “always a concern”.

“I think we have to follow it closely,” Mr Coveney said. 

“Ireland is not a low-cost destination anymore, not just from a tech point of view but right across the Irish economy.

“Of course, we have to watch carefully to see whether there are trends and if we see Irish competitiveness being undermined, well then we have to try and act on that.”


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