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From South Africa to Ireland, Willem Jonker, Mechanical Engineer
Author: Evan O'Quigley  /  24th Aug, 2020  /  News, Careers

We recently launched a new series of interviews with our staff who have gotten a visa to come and work with Mercury. Our fifth interviewee is Willem Jonker, a South African Mechanical Engineer working on a large technology project in Ireland. 

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

“I’m from originally from Johannesburg, South Africa and I obtained my engineering qualifications there through the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape province. After completing my studies, I worked as Project Engineer for one of the large engineering and construction contractors in Johannesburg. My experience is mainly in the construction of power stations, process plants and the oil & gas industry.

How did you first hear about Mercury?

“I first saw Mercury on LinkedIn and after some inquiries, Mercury came highly recommended from a colleague in South Africa who has family in Ireland. The type of projects that Mercury are involved in made them a very good fit for me and offered a great opportunity to get some exposure to projects that you would not get anywhere else. I knew this would be the right company for me, when Mercury appeared in an article about the use of Lean principles in construction. Mercury seems to have the perfect balance of using the latest innovation and principles, while never forgetting the tried and trusted basics of construction. This is a refreshing change from the more traditional construction culture.

How was your experience getting a visa?

“Having a South African passport only, I’m used to prolonged and expensive visa applications when travelling, so I was very impressed with how easy it was to obtain the Irish critical skills employment permit. The Mercury appointed immigration agents have been very helpful throughout the process, although the current Covid 19 situation did cause the process to take much longer than originally envisioned by anyone. My wife and I made the move over to Ireland as soon as we received the employment permit and can both agree that it is well worth the wait!

Would you recommend other people from South Africa or across the world to work with Mercury in Ireland?

“Definitely! We have only been here for 2 months now, but we have been absolutely overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Irish and we are really enjoying the Irish culture. Strangely enough, there are some striking similarities between South Africa and Ireland. I have enjoyed the past two months at Mercury and I feel very welcome here”.


Tom McKelvey is an Australian Senior Quantity Surveyor works on a large Hyperscale Data Centre in the Netherlands. Click here to read the interview.

Fabio Iseki is an Brazilian Quality Assurance Manager working on a Data Centre project in Germany. Click here to read the interview.

Deblina Bhaumik is an Indian HR Administrator working in our Dublin Head Office. Click here to read the interview.

Khaled Halawa is a Palestinian Site Engineer working on a large Hyperscale Data Centre in the Netherlands. Click here to read the interview.


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