Kirby Group Engineering is to create 300 jobs as part of a significant expansion to meet demand for its services in Ireland and across Europe.

The family-founded, privately-owned company said the new jobs will include engineering, commercial, operations and administrative staff, with recruitment for many of these roles already under way.

Kirby has also announced a €2m plan to upgrade its company headquarters in Co Limerick. The construction phase of this expansion is projected to take six months, with the facility expected to be operational by the end of 2021.

The company, which was set up in 1964, employs over 1,200 people with 200 new employees joining the company last year.

As part of its new recruitment drive, Kirby said it is looking for almost 100 people to be deployed across its Apprenticeship Scheme and Graduate Programme.

As well as its Irish operations, the company has significant operations across the UK and is establishing a strong foothold in mainland Europe and it is predicting turnover of €360m this year.

Kirby currently operates in seven countries around Europe and its expansion has been greatly supported by Enterprise Ireland.

The Managing Director of Kirby Group Engineering, Mark Flanagan, said today's announcement, coupled with recruitment last year in spite of the global pandemic, will result in the company growing by 500 staff in a two year period.

"Our team is making fantastic inroads at the cutting edge of construction across Europe and the people we welcome onboard in this phase will be a vital support to the future of the company," he added.

Limerick native Ruairi Ryan, an Associate Director with Kirby, is taking on the role of Business Unit Leader for the Munster region to lead the new expansion.

"This announcement demonstrates our commitment to our staff and customers in this part of Ireland, which set us on the road towards an exciting journey of growth. I have been with Kirby since serving my time as an apprentice, and it's a real honour to be able to lead the company forward in a region I know so well," Mr Ryan said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the announcement represents another great milestone for Kirby Group Engineering, Limerick and the wider Mid-West region.

"We want Ireland to be a great location, and a competitive location, to start and scale businesses just like this. Kirby’s expansion is testament to the skills and talent this country has to offer, and I note in particular the value the company places on graduates and apprentices in shaping its future," Mr Martin added.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said he was especially pleased to see the investment the company is making in taking on apprentices.

"We’ve had a really difficult few months and announcements like these, with companies expanding and investing in Ireland is a real sign that brighter days are ahead and there is reason to be hopeful," he added.