The Government has just announced details of its 5-year, €250million strategy aimed at accelerating the jobs recovery in every part of the country.
Action Plan for Jobs – Regional is based on the principle that the best way to support job-creation in towns and villages across the country is to support agencies and organisations within each region to build on the particular strengths and assets of their area and drive new job-creation strategies and projects.
The strategy will be based on the successful Action Plan for Jobs model of setting out lists of actions with timelines and responsibility allocated, and then monitoring implementation. The initiative is being led by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD and will include three main elements:
· Each of the 8 regions (below) will develop its own Action Plan. Lead responsibility for coordinating the development of the plan will be assiged to an Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland official in each region. Stakeholders including enterprise agencies, educational institutions, local authorities, business and community groups will be responsible for working together to develop the Action Plan in each region. The first plan will be published in the coming weeks for the Midlands, with 6 plans published by July and all 8 in place by Q3
· To support and encourage regional stakeholders in working together, up to €100million in Enterprise Ireland funding will be made available over 5 years through a series of competitive calls. The first tranche of €50million will be made available from 2015. Funding under these programmes will be allocated on a competitive basis, with most funds awarded to regional projects offering the best prospects for job-creation
· IDA Ireland will roll out a 5-year €150million capital investment programme to help attract more multinational jobs into each region. This programme will build on the recent investment by IDA in facilities in Athlone and Waterford, and will include investments over the coming years in building advance manufacturing and office facilities in Sligo, Tralee, Castlebar, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Athlone, Carlow and Waterford.
The Taoiseach said: “While recovery is under way, we cannot let it bypass families or communities on the basis of their location. Irish recovery is for all of Ireland. Today, the Government is publishing a €250 million plan to ensure that no part of Ireland is left behind in the jobs recovery. While every part of the country has seen an increase in jobs since 2012, we can and must do more. The Regional Action Plan for Jobs will maximise the individual strengths and assets of each region to support enterprise growth and job creation. The plan also includes up to €150 million for an IDA property investment programme to attract foreign direct investment into different parts of Ireland. All of these initiatives are part of the Government’s strategy to rebuild a strong, enterprise economy that can support full employment.”
The Tánaiste said: “Our economic recovery is well under way, with Dublin and other cities recording particularly strong growth in job creation. We want to spread that jobs recovery to every region and every community. Today we are committing to funding of €250 million to drive job creation across the different regions, through IDA and Enterprise Ireland. In addition, locally-driven Regional Enterprise strategies will help each region lean on its own unique strengths and assets to power regional economic growth, benefitting local businesses and families.”
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation said: “Over the past three years 80,000 extra jobs have been created across the country, with well over half of these jobs located outside Dublin. However many people have not yet felt the benefits, and some regions are experiencing faster jobs growth than others. That is why, as part of our plan to deliver sustainable full employment, we are putting in place this new strategy to accelerate jobs growth in towns and villages across the country.
“Part of this of course is ensuring that IDA has property solutions in place to help attract more investment to every region. However at the heart of the plan is a new approach – not top-down, but supporting agencies and organisations within each region to work together to build on the strengths that they already have to support extra job-creation in their areas. In this way we can ensure that communities across the country can feel the benefits of the jobs recovery that is underway”.