Internet giant Amazon is to create 500 new jobs in Ireland over the next two years.RTE

The highly-skilled positions across a wide range of technical areas will be based in Dublin, and recruitment has already begun.

Amazon already employs 1,700 people at a number of locations in Dublin and Cork.

It has been in Ireland since 2004 and less than two years ago it announced it was expanding its workforce by a further 300.

The company filled those positions more quickly than expected and now to meet the demands of its growing businesses, the company is to recruit 500 more people in Ireland between now and 2018.

The positions are in the main high-tech and high-skill and include roles like data centre technicians, software engineers and customer support staff.

The new employees will serve a variety of the company’s businesses, including its online retail arm and its data storage unit, Amazon Web Services.

All the jobs will be in Dublin, in Amazon’s Irish headquarters and in its growing number of data centres.

Jeff Caselden, Amazon Ireland’s General Manager, has put its decision to continue investing Ireland down to Ireland’s diverse technical skills base and the creative culture.

Mr Caselden said that favourable corporate tax was not the biggest priority when choosing to do business in Ireland.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Caselden said: “First and foremost I would say the access to the talent that we’re able to get in this country.

“Ireland’s got a very creative culture and we’re also a member of the European Union so there’s a large talent pool we can pull from here.

“Secondly the infastructure that we have in the country is very suitable for what we need to do. Connectivity is very important to us.

“The transatlantic cables that connect North America and Europe terminate here in Ireland. There’s good access to renewable energy.”

The announcement has been welcomed by the Taoiseach, Jobs Minister Mary-Mitchell O’Connor, and IDA chief executive Martin Shanahan, who said the IDA would use the news to sell Ireland abroad as a suitable place to invest.

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