Dozens of vacancies are likely to be filled by Ukrainian refugees arriving in Kerry as employers facing staff shortages rush to recruit those who have fled their war-torn country.
While the severe shortage of workers for the hotel and restaurant industry is well documented, there are also vacancies waiting to be filled in other sectors of manufacturing, engineering, writing. retail, according to Kate O’Shea of recruitment agency Dream Jobs in Killarney.
Kate and her business partner Peter Guban have offered their services to the Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism to help those who have arrived find work. More than 300 refugees have arrived in Killarney over the past fortnight and are being accommodated in hotels in the town. Thousands more are expected in the coming weeks. The company offers its services free of charge to refugees to help them find work.
The company has developed a website and a QR code where Ukrainian applicants can scan the code and upload their CV in Ukrainian and it will be translated into English.
On Thursday, a day after an appeal to employers was launched, some 14 companies got in touch with “endless” amounts of job vacancies.
Ms O’Shea then drew up a list of vacancies, spoke to refugees staying in one of the hotels and said that already 60 refugees had expressed interest.
“There is a huge appetite among the refugees for work,” Ms O’Shea said.
Teachers, engineers, a welder, a graphic designer, doctors and psychologists are among the “highly skilled refugees” who have arrived in Killarney.
Many are willing to work in the tourism and retail sectors to improve their English.
Getting a job in the medical sector is a slower process. However, the county council is working with refugees and trying to speed up the clearance process for those with medical qualifications.
Employers in the hospitality industry are flexible in allowing people to work in opposite teams to facilitate shared childcare.
Peter Guban, originally from Hungary but living in Killarney for almost 20 years, said that while the critical shortage of staff in the tourism industry has been well publicized, all sectors of Killarney, from printing to welding , are struggling to fill vacancies.
“We are taking advantage of the arrivals in Killarney and why not? It also suits highly skilled refugees who don’t want to sit in hotels all day,” he said.