updated 07:00 pm EDT, Fri April 27, 2012
Apple plans to add 500 jobs, expand functions
The Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Enda Kenny, has paid a visit to the Apple factory in Cork, Ireland to congratulate the company and its workers on their role in bolstering the economy of the area as well as Europe generally. Ireland has played an increasingly important role for Apple, and the company is planning to expand its presence in Cork with an additional 500 jobs to support its central European office. The plant Kenny visited currently employs 2,800 people.
Currently, the Hollyhill campus works primarily on assembling MacBook Pros, but has also been involved with iMac and Mac Pro production over the years (the company has had a presence in Cork since 1980). The expansion and new jobs will require an entirely new, three-story office building for the administrative and supply functions the company will place in Ireland. The country won back the European headquarters primarily by lowering its corporate tax rate compared to the UK -- a factor that had led Apple to move its European offices to Luxembourg for a time.
The corporate tax rate in Ireland is 12.5 percent, exactly half that of the UK. The country is one of several that has struggled to recover from the global economic crisis of 2008, and has attracted several technology companies (including Google, which also claims Ireland as its European headquarters). Currently the Hollyhill facility also handles Apple's distribution, back-office and supply chain operations, but many of those jobs will move to the new headquarters building in Cork over the next 18 months. [via MacWorld UK]
Irish PM Enda Kenny talks to workers in Cork