More than 2,000 people booked to attend the inaugural Laois Jobs Fair with hundreds of others showing up on the day to apply for new jobs being created in the midlands county.
The event, an initiative of Laois Chamber of Commerce, sparked the public’s imagination with strong support from Laois job hunters, eager to swap long commutes for working in their own county or nearer home.
Hundreds of positions were on offer from more than 35 companies, including Glanbia Cheese, Supermac’s, Greenfield Global , Imagine , Dawn Meats , Enva, CJ Sheeran and Fingleton White, offering diverse jobs in Engineering , Manufacturing, Marketing, HR, Logistics, Customer care, Healthcare, IT, and Hospitality, as well as positions in new media and languages. The new Supermac’s Motorway Plaza in Portlaoise had 120 roles to fill.
There was a separate area for the new co-working hubs around Laois as well as interview rooms for jobseekers and employers alike.
Staff from Solas, the governing body for apprenticeships in Ireland, also attended. The Laois Offaly Education Training Board represented.
CEO of Laois Chamber, Bernie Everard says the response from the public was overwhelming, proving that there is a huge appetite to make Laois the centre of Ireland in which to do business.
“Laois is ideally positioned both in terms of infrastructure, demographics and employment opportunities. 13,000 people leave the county each day to work in other locations throughout the country, so we want to try and harness some of those commuters, offering them sustainable opportunities in their own county.”
“The response from the public and exhibitors to our first Laois Jobs Fair has been hugely encouraging and augurs extremely well for the future,” she said.
Ms Everard thanked all the sponsors of the event which was held on February 12.
Photographer Denis Byrne went along for the Leinster Express. Scroll through the gallery of pictures above.