Shannon based diamond manufacturer, Element Six, has announced the creation of a further 100 jobs at its Clare facility as part of a €7million investment at the plant this year.
It comes as part of a €7 million investment which was officially announced at a briefing at the plant hosted by Element Six Executive Director of Operations Ken Sullivan and attended by Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Pat Breen and the company’s global CEO Mr. Walter Hühn. It will bring to €40million the overall spend by Element Six at Shannon over a four year period.
Vacancies will be in the areas of supply chain, engineering and manufacturing, with recruitment already underway and all posts set to be filled in the first half of this year. It is the latest round of recruitment at the company and will bring overall employment at the Shannon company which is a member of The De Beers Group of Companies to 550.
Over the past three years, the company has invested heavily in infrastructural projects at the plant, including the installation of large-scale diamond synthesis presses to produce diamond materials for industrial use. In addition, high end CNC machines have been designed and installed to process these materials. This announcement will enable the synthesis and processing of diamond materials at the Shannon plant for use principally in the Oil and Gas industry.
Speaking at the plant, Mr Hühn said, “This is a significant moment for Element Six and its staff in Shannon as it is validation of the hard work of our management and staff here in turning the business around. Thanks to a culture of continuous improvement, the use of world-class manufacturing techniques and efficiency and quality gains, our Shannon operations have now taken on additional, global cutting-edge processes, leading to this investment and considerably enhanced employment levels.
“Oil and Gas is a volatile industry but the improvements and investment here at Shannon ensures we are as future-proofed as possible going forward. A key influencer is the operating environment, which is considerably better now in Ireland. In return, we have invested heavily and created high-value jobs for the region.”
Welcoming the news, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, commented, “Today’s announcement by Element Six is further evidence of the very competitive operating environment we have in Ireland, including in the regions. In 2009 the company cited the ‘high cost of operating in Ireland’ when it was on the brink of closure. But a combination of the improved operating environment and commitment of staff has transformed operations to a level that the company has more than doubled its employment here since. The addition of 100 extra jobs is a great vote of confidence for the region which has much to offer companies who wish to grow their businesses in Ireland. I wish Element Six and the team every success in the future.”
Clare TD and Junior Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen outlined how important it will be for Shannon and the wider Mid-West region. “This announcement is a very strong endorsement of the Shannon Free Zone as a leading destination for innovation and job creation. With an international airport on its doorstep, a highly competitive operating environment, available talent and excellent and ever-improving infrastructure, we believe the future is very bright for Shannon as an inward investment location. Element Six’s commitment, not least through its very significant investment in high-end, innovative processes at the plant is very welcome and I wish the team the very best for the future.
“It also highlights the commitment of staff and management here over the years. In 2009 we all feared that this very significant employer would be lost to Clare but thanks to the collective determination, from the management and staff and agencies like the IDA, Element Six’s operations here are entirely reenergised and it is today one of the county’s largest employers with 550 high-value jobs set to be in place by the second half of the year.”
IDA Chief Executive Martin Shanahan told of the company’s impact on the region, “Element Six is a global leader in its field and for it to make this level of investment in cutting edge processes in Shannon and have the footprint it now has in Shannon sends a very positive message around the globe about this area as an attractive inward investment location. We have worked closely with Element Six over the years and look forward to continuing that relationship and the company’s continued and valued impact on the Mid-West regional economy here into the future. The Mid-West has been a significant beneficiary of FDI over the past 2 years.”
Ken Sullivan, Element Six Executive Director of Operations added, “Element Six has a 60 year history at Shannon and today’s announcement very much signals that we have entered a new era in terms of our operations here. A strong spirit of partnership has sustained us through a very challenging period and, in no small part thanks to the commitment of staff to this partnership approach, we have emerged as one of the biggest and best employers in the Shannon region. Element Six is a really exciting place to work and remains one of the best employers in the region. We have many opportunities for career progression at all levels and across multiple disciplines. Given that many of our improvement projects are shop-floor led, strengthens the spirit of partnership and continuous improvement.”