The West Action Plan for Jobs has been launched this week by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.
After several difficult years for the economy and the people of the West, the economy is growing with 5,000 extra people at work in the region in the past year.
The Action Plan focuses on key sectors such as agriculture and food, tourism, ICT, med-tech (medical technologies) and pharmaceuticals. It contains 194 measures to be delivered between now and 2017.
Overall, with the Plan we are working to increase employment in the West by between 10 and 15% and help create 25,000 jobs across Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. Part of this includes –
- Helping to increase the number of start-up companies by 25%
- Increase the number of IDA investments to have at least 92 additional IDA projects in the West within four years
- Build on the existing clusters such as med-tech, ICT and pharmaceuticals in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon
- Help the Local Enterprise Offices provide support and over €3 million funding to over 1,000 businesses each year
- Support Udaras to create 540 extra jobs in the Gaeltacht in life sciences, agriculture, food and the marine
- Create a food innovation hub and centre to help food companies to grow and expand
- Build on the success of the Wild Atlantic Way
- Support the Creative Industries with a micro-loan fund and develop an action plan to support the film industry in Galway.
- Continue to support the Marine Institute and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland in the Ocean Energy Test Site in Galway Bay for new technologies such as wave energy.
The Plan also sets out measures to improve and enhance the infrastructure needed to create and sustain jobs in the West including:
- The IDA will construct a new Advanced Technology Building in Galway to be complete by 2017
- Develop the ‘PorterShed’ innovation hub in Galway City to provide collaborative working spaces for early stage tech companies
- Establish a regional office, in Galway, of the NSAI – the National Standards Authority of Ireland – which will provide local access to the Authority that sets the standards and certifies products such as medical devices
- The IDA will promote their facilities in Oranmore and Athenry to attract further development in the Bio-Pharma sector