What to look out for at the Gradireland graduate careers fair

Jobs and graduate programmes are on offer from companies across most sectors

They want you: multinational companies make up the bulk of this year’s exhibitors, a number of which are offering jobs and graduate programmes on the day

They want you: multinational companies make up the bulk of this year’s exhibitors, a number of which are offering jobs and graduate programmes on the day


Recruitment is a leading indicator of economic progress and there has been an upturn in the first half of this year. Some areas have remained strong, while demand for staff has grown in others.

Who’s exhibiting at the fair?

Multinational companies make up the bulk of this year’s exhibitors, a number of which are offering jobs and graduate programmes on the day.

On-the-job training, the opportunity to travel and further education opportunities will come as standard with many of the companies’ programmes, which vary between one and two years. Retailers and food companies in particular have a strong presence this year.

Household names such as Diageo and Jameson offer a range of exciting, challenging and creative positions, while lesser-known companies such as software company GameX are also worth speaking to.

Food and drink

Irish food companies that have made a big impact on the global stage are also exhibiting. These include food processing company Kerry Group, a leading supplier of consumer foods globally; dairy processor Lakeland Dairies, beef processors ABP Group, Dairygold and Diageo.


Supermarkets are also competing for Irish graduates – Lidl, Aldi, the Musgrave Group and Tesco are all exhibiting at the fair and will have current graduates of their programmes available to talk to visitors about their experience so far.

In the retail sector, Boots, Abercrombie & Fitch, Wayfair Stores and Smyths Toys are recruiting graduates from all disciplines.

Banking and finance

Graduate banking jobs are still buoyant, with many of the big names expected to be there. Bank of Ireland is inviting graduates from all areas to apply to its programmes in areas including HR, IT, customer service, finance and auditing, all with a focus on working as part of a larger team.

Deutsche Bank will also be on hand to advise students and graduates of its opportunities. The best-known graduate programmes in accountancy, consultancy and advisory services – including PWC, Deloitte, KPMG, Grant Thornton and EY – will also be exhibiting.

Recruiters stress banking or finance does not have to be your main degree to apply, a 2:1 in any discipline is usually among the main requirements.


The pharmaceutical sector has fewer employers exhibiting than other areas but Pfizer will be recruiting graduates as will Abbott Ireland and Innopharma Labs.

BioMarin, which develops and commercialises innovative biopharmaceuticals, and Boston Scientific will also have a stand at the fair.


In the IT area, consultancy firms Ammeon and SQS group are looking for graduates, while Intel has opportunities for science and engineering graduates of all levels from higher certificate to PhD.

CPA Ireland Skillnet, Ericcson and GameX are also among the technology companies exhibiting.

There are a host of other exhibitors from the Peter McVerry Trust to JTI – Japan Tobacco International Education.

Postgraduate courses

A number of Irish and UK universities will provide information on a range of postgraduate courses at the event. Specialist education institutes offering professional qualifications in insurance, accountancy and taxation, including Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Certified Public Accountants, Insurance Institute of Ireland, and the Irish Taxation Institute will also attend the fair. For a full list of exhibitors see graduatecareersfair.com.

Who is recruiting at the fair?

A wide range of companies are recruiting at the moment and there are jobs in finance, retail, tech, consulting and the civil service.


Consulting firm Accenture is recruiting people from diverse backgrounds. Graduates in Accenture’s Analyst Consulting Group will have the opportunity to develop their career and grow the business.

To join the Analyst Consulting Group, you must have a strong academic record with a minimum of 400 Leaving Certificate points and a predicted 2.1 degree or equivalent. You can join the Analyst Consulting Group from any academic discipline; but it is particularly keen to recruit graduates from science, technology, engineering and maths backgrounds. See Accenture.com/Careers.


The German retailer’s Area Manager Graduate Training programme is a 12-month placement covering the complete spectrum of the business, including product knowledge, store operations, financial administration, logistics and property management.

The starting salary is €61,000 that rises in stages to €95,750 after four years and comes with a fully expensed Audi A4.

The programme provides graduates with the opportunity to run their own business within a year, the potential to work abroad or become a director within five years. See AldiRecruitment.ie.

Bank of Ireland

The Bank of Ireland Graduate Programme combines work experience, mentorship, class study and professional qualifications which it says equips participants with the knowledge and expertise to fully realise their talent and potential. Bank of Ireland says it is looking for talented graduates from all disciplines. Students must have a strong academic record and expect to achieve a minimum 2:1 honours degree or masters. It welcomes graduates from all disciplines, including finance and accounting, audit and compliance, HR and IT.


EY offers a three-year training contract. Whether graduates are studying for chartered accountancy or other qualifications, EY will assist them. Graduates can expect to work across a range of business areas.

The firm looks for a minimum 2.1 honours degree and it offers a range of benefits including life assurance, a pension plan, study leave and retail discounts. See EY.com/careers.

Irish Distillers

Irish Distillers offers two graduate programme to recruit, train and develop business, language, science and engineering graduates to become part of the Jameson global success story. With 70 graduates placed in 40 international markets as Jameson brand ambassadors and two graduate distillers joining the team each year to work at the Midleton Distillery, Cork, and Bottling and Logistics site, Dublin, both programmes are an integral part of the Jameson strategy.

Application is through a two-minute video giving candidates the opportunity to show the team why they are the best fit for the programme. Online applications open for this year’s programme on October 1st at www.jamesongraduateprogramme.com.

Kerry Group

Kerry says it offers graduates “real roles with real responsibility from day one”. It recruits graduates across a wide range of functions from IT, accounting and finance, engineering and human resources.

Its two-year development programme offers technical skills and management competency. The two-year programme culminates in a diploma in management practice, which is run and accredited by the Irish Management Institute. Opportunities for travel and international experience are often available within the organisation.kerrygraduates.com.


Graduates at KPMG will work with a range of clients from every sector.

They will learn about mergers and acquisitions, helping Irish business to expand internationally or as part of a team evaluating risk in a major multinational. Graduates come from a range of academic disciplines. The 2017 KPMG Graduate Programme is now open and it has 300 vacancies across audit, tax and advisory.

As well as business graduates, it welcomes applications from engineering, science, arts, and law.

KPMG provides additional training for non-business graduates to support them with the switch to business. See KPMGcareers.ie.

Public jobs

There are graduate jobs to be filled in the Irish civil service through the Public Appointments Service.

Roles include administrative officer in the civil service, graduate economist with the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service, trainee auditor in the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, junior diplomat/third secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs, and legal researchers.

The jobs offer competitive salary and working conditions as well as learning and development programmes. See GradPublicJobs.ie.


PwC is the 2016 Gradireland Graduate Employer of the Year and their 2017 Graduate Programme is now open for applications.  Graduates are recruited from all disciplines to fill over 300 roles across their audit, tax and advisory functions in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford.  PwC works with local and multi-national organisations and you will work with and learn from top experts in their fields. For more information see www.pwc.ie/graduate

The Gradireland fair takes place on October 5th, at the RDS (Simmonscourt). Doors open at 11am and the event ends at 5pm.