To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in terms of the stated aim of supporting competitive regions, as identified in the 2014 Action Plan for Jobs, the groups, organisations, agencies or otherwise, that will be involved in the development of a framework for a regional enterprise strategy; if the group tasked with developing such a strategy will hold regional meetings; and if he will provide an indicative timescale for the creation of the strategy..
– Seán Kyne.
R E P L Y
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Mr Bruton)
The aim of the Action Plan for Jobs is to support enterprises to create employment throughout the whole of the country and in all regions. Regions that support strong and dynamic enterprises are crucial to Ireland’s return to overall economic growth.
The 2014 Action Plan for Jobs, which was published at the end of February, includes a commitment to develop a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy to better integrate the efforts of enterprise agencies and other regional stakeholders in supporting enterprises, based on the sustainable competitive advantage of the region.
My intention is that the framework will be developed on a pilot basis initially, focusing on the Midlands region, and involving the agencies under the remit of my own Department – Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the County and City Enterprise Boards (soon to become Local Enterprise Offices). The objective is to enhance synergies between the agencies and their client companies and build on the competitive strengths of the region to maximise the potential for job creation.
The role which other public bodies in the region can play in working towards this objective will also be examined as the project develops.
My Department has commenced work on the development of a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy through a Working Group that includes representatives from Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Forfas and my Department. The Group is currently identifying the strengths, opportunities and strategic resources of the Midlands region and this work will feed in to the framework which I expect to be finalised in Quarter 2 of this year. The objective is that this framework will serve as a model for other regions of the country.
It is not envisaged, at this stage, that public meetings will be held at regional level on the framework, given that the focus of the exercise is on improving inter-agency co-ordination. However, I separately hold regular regional meetings with employers as part of my engagement with the enterprise sector on the Action Plan for Jobs