“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 like our own area of South Dublin,” says Cáit Keane, Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South-West.
“The Action Plan for Jobs 2015 was launched this morning 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· It will be easier to do business in Ireland as the Government will cut the red tape, fully utilise ICT, revoke outdated legislation and support 800 participants in Enterprise Ireland (EI) Management Development Courses.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 here in Dublin South-West 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.”
Fine Gael Senator and Dublin South West Bye Election candidate, Cáit Keane, has today (Tuesday), welcomed the publication of the CSO’s Quarterly National Household Survey which points to an increase in employment and a decrease in emigration in Dublin.
“Today’s figures show a continued improvement in the jobs market, with 31,600 jobs created in the last 12 months and over 70,000 since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs in 2012. This means employment is at its highest level since 2009.
“It is extremely encouraging to see that the jobs market continues to grow at pace. In Dublin there has been an increase of four percent in the numbers at work since this time last year; this means that almost 22,000 more people are back at work.
I welcome this Labour Private Members Motion to the House on SMEs in Rural towns. The present economic climate has made life for small and medium sized businesses in rural towns very challenging and has resulted in the closure of many of them unfortunately. There are undoubtedly some more disadvantages for SMEs in rural towns compared with those I more urban areas in terms of survival in this environment and there is a need for Government to assist them in every way possible.
The majority of people employed in Ireland work in SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises). Exact numbers of SMEs in Ireland are not available, though estimates in excess of 200,000 (or 98% of all businesses in Ireland) are accepted. SMEs do not have it easy, with many struggling to survive in today’s disastrous economic climate. SMEs need a new way of working to ensure continuity of trading and where a small amount of highly focused effort could produce a spectacular increase in wealth generation and new jobs, especially in rural Ireland.
SMEs have the volume and potential to create real additional wealth and jobs. We can think of it as the ‘U2 Principle’, where to get rich, one must strive to take a small amount of money from a large number of people, rather than a large amount of money from a small number of people. Translate this principle to jobs and, the potential to create jobs must be far greater among the larger volume of small companies (i.e. SMEs).
I welcome the Minister to the House on this second stage debate on the County Enterprise Board Dissolution Bill. The Bill will get abolish County Enterprise Boards including City Enterprise Boards that are to be replaced by Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices run by Local Authorities. Enterprise Ireland already exists under the Industrial Development (Enterprise Ireland) Act 1998 and plays a pivotal role in the promotion of enterprise and assistance both in terms of finance and advice to entrepreneurs. The intent underpinning the legislation is to create a “first-stop-shop” for entrepreneurs at local level while providing a nationwide integrated system.
The Bill as far as I can see conforms to a standard model of legislation for the dissolution of State bodies and consequent transfers of staff, property and liabilities. The Bill is part of a programme of reform, to bring together the micro and small business supports currently provided by the County Enterprise Boards, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities in one place; remove anomalies in the current system and ensure that all micro and small businesses can access supports and to establish a Centre of Excellence in Enterprise Ireland with responsibility for setting policy and monitoring delivery, ensuring delivery of world class supports for micro- and small business in a consistent manner.