With the creation of over 80,000 jobs since it was first launched in 2012, the Action Plan for Jobs has been a great success. However this year the plan is focused on spreading the recovery to all regions of the country and on building on the potential of local areas such as Galway and Mayo in the West.
The Action Plan for Jobs 2015 was launched on Thursday by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD. This is the next step in the multi-annual process which is working towards delivering full employment by 2018, two years ahead of schedule.
Specific reforms will be launched this year that will impact on a range of sectors in all areas of the country:
- The Regional Enterprise Strategy will be rolled out shortly across the country. This strategy will include competitive funding initiatives of up to €25 million.
- There will be a national talent drive in which we will work towards increasing by 60% the number of ICT graduates by 2018.
- New measures will be introduced to support start-ups including a new Start-up Refunds for Entrepreneurs Scheme (SURE) tax incentive and a Start-up Gathering to be held in 2015.
- It will be easier to do business in Ireland as the Government will cut the red tape, fully utilise ICT, revoke outdated legislation and support 800 participants in Enterprise Ireland (EI) Management Development Courses.
- Measures will be introduced to improve competitiveness and productivity, including a €39 million fund for businesses to make savings in energy.
- There will be an increased focus on job creation in the domestic economy including measures to support the retail, construction and agriculture sectors.
When the Action Plan for Jobs was first launched it was against a backdrop of emigration, job losses and a lack of credit for SMEs. Thankfully the economic landscape has changed. We are creating jobs and Ireland is the fastest growing economy in Europe. But this growth has not been evenly spread and many areas have yet to benefit.
We need to see growth and improvement in all areas of the country. We need to support new business in Galway and Mayo and to provide opportunities for our young people. The Action Plan for Jobs is not just about creating jobs, it is about creating the right type of job in the places where they are most needed.