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Kerry based Ard Ri group announces 60 new jobs

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Leading Irish homeware company, the Ard Ri group, has bucked international COVID-19 trends recording one of their busiest sales periods on record. The group has announced the creation of 60 new jobs in their Irish operations spread between their base in Dublin and their headquarters on the Dingle Peninsula. The company has hired an initial 15 people over the past two weeks with a further 45 people due to be hired within 12 months.

The Ard Ri group has grown from a local craft manufacturer in Tralee to an ambitious global manufacturer and distributor of quality affordable homeware products.

Brothers Neil and Paul Fitzgibbon lead a global team of 680 employees across Ireland, the UK and Asia helping them to deliver top class customer service to a trusted network of over 1,200 retailers across both Ireland and the UK. The group has two main homeware brands in Henley Stoves and Deanta Doors, both market leading products across Ireland and the UK. They employ 550 people at their two factories in Southern China, and a further 130 spread across their distribution centres and offices in Dublin, Cambridgeshire in the UK and at their headquarters on the Dingle Peninsula.

According to company director Neil Fitzgibbon, the group's ambitions do not stop there.

“We have grown exponentially in the UK with Deanta Doors UK and Henley Stoves UK. We manage the products from our factory floor in China all the way to our network of retail partners across Ireland and the UK. We are about to launch an ambitious expansion plan into mainland Europe starting with Belgium, Holland, Germany and Poland. By 2025, we will be one of the largest providers of quality doors and stoves in the EU market. By 2030, we will be one of the biggest door and stove manufacturers and distributors in the world.”

Paul Fitzgibbon described how important it is to the company that their headquarters are based on the Dingle Peninsula, just outside Tralee.

“Our father, Noel Fitzgibbon, began Ard Ri as a fireplace manufacturer in Tralee in 1989. Together, as a family, we have overcome obstacles to build two large factories in China and a market for our homeware products across Ireland and the UK. We have a great team behind us here at the Ard Ri group and will grow the company into a global brand within 10 years, all from our base just outside Tralee.”

The company is looking for skilled and experienced people to join their team in the areas of sales, warehousing, marketing, purchasing and administration. They have asked all interested candidates to contact them directly by emailing hr@ardrimarble.com.

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Develop skills and improve employability

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment. Developed in partnership with industry representatives […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment.

Developed in partnership with industry representatives and employers, these programmes combine learning in the classroom with a minimum of 30 percent of learning on-the-job. The focus is on ‘learning on the go’ and developing perspectives that are in tune with the ever evolving world of work. They span across a range of industry sectors including business and retail, media, manufacturing, agriculture, horticulture and mariculture, care, construction, engineering, animal science, fashion and beauty, finance, ICT, hospitality, sports and leisure, and logistics.

At the core of the scheme is a strong collaboration with the ETBs in the provision of work-based learning opportunities on existing and new programmes. Traineeships lead to an award at Levels 4-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are between six to 24 months in duration. Over 75 programmes are available nationwide – although not all of them will be available nationally at all times – and the content, award and duration may vary. They are designed for flexible delivery to include online, face-to-face and blended learning.

NEXT STEP

Second level or higher education students who are interested in participating in a Traineeship Programme should contact their local ETB, adult learners should contact the Adult Education Guidance Service through their local ETB, and jobseekers will be able to access information through their local Intreo Office or Local Employment Service. For those currently unemployed, a training allowance or income support may be available. You can check out the range of opportunities offered through Traineeships nationwide on www.fetchcourses.ie and more locally check out the www.kerrycollege.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses

Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]

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Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.

Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.

The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Most of the courses are part-time and last for one year or less, but there are some full-time courses.
You can access a free Springboard+ course, if you are getting a qualifying social welfare payment such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). You can get a full list of qualifying payments for Springboard+ on citizensinformation.ie

If you are not getting a qualifying social welfare payment, you will have to meet the residency criteria for Springboard+.

You can also apply for a Springboard+ course if:

* You are a qualified adult of working age (under 66) on someone else’s social welfare payment
* You are signing for social insurance credits
* You are on an employment support scheme such as Community Employment (CE) or TUS

To apply for a Springboard+ course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on springboardcourses.ie and apply online, following the instructions on the website. You can apply for up to 10 courses, but you can only take one course.

If you are getting a social welfare payment, you should notify your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office and check what further steps (if any) you need to take.
If Springboard+ doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other ways to go back to education.
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During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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