South West Action Plan – part of €250m regional jobs strategy – unveiled by government
03 July 2015
The government has launched the South West Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at delivering 10-15 per cent employment growth over the coming years. The plan is the second of eight regional jobs plans to be published over the coming months, as part of a new €250 million regional jobs strategy.
The plan covers counties Kerry and Cork, and key sectors targeted as part of the plan include agrifood, tourism, life sciences, manufacturing and ICT, as well as high-potential emerging sectors such as multimedia/content and the green economy, energy and marine. Actions in the plan to be delivered over the period 2015-2017 include:
• Start-ups – a 40-50 per cent increase in the number of businesses starting-up, scaling and surviving, delivered through a range of measures including more co-working space and mentoring for entrepreneurs and new funding through competitive calls;
• Exporting companies – 20 per cent increase in employment in exporting companies, delivered by adding 30-40 per cent to the number of IDA investments achieved, building an IDA advance facility in Tralee, 50 per cent increase in enterprise-research collaborations and other measures to support growth in Irish exporting companies;
• Skills – doubling the level of workforce training and development activity, delivered by progressing the Munster Technological University project, establishing an Employer and Education Skills Forum, doubling apprenticeships enrolment in the region;
• Agrifood – 40 per cent increase in output to 2020, including developing the region as an international centre of excellence in areas like agri-engineering, agri-food, seafood production and food product development;
• Tourism – 33 per cent increase in overseas tourist numbers and 40 per cent increase in overseas revenue from the sector;
• New sectors, including developing a creative hub for the content/multimedia sector, actions to develop innovative energy technology and solutions combining the regions strengths in research and enterprise, developing the green economy in the region and rolling out ‘smart region’ infrastructure like i-beams and smooth sensors for traffic and utility management.
Employment in the southwest declined by 45,600 (15 per cent) during the crash; since the national Action Plan for Jobs was launched in Q1 2012 jobs in the region have grown by 11,200 (four per cent). The plan targets employment growth of 10-15 per cent over and above today’s employment levels, which would represent between 27,780 and 41,670 additional jobs in the region by 2020.
The levels of employment growth actually achieved within that range will depend on factors including the level of support and collaboration within the local community for the plan, and the level of collaboration between organisations in the region and the main government bodies involved in the plan. Minister Bruton said it was realistic to target 40,000 additional jobs in the region by 2020.
Minister Bruton said: “Jobs are growing right across the country, but they are growing faster in some regions than in others. That is why we have put in place the €250 million regional jobs strategy, to support regions to play to their strengths and accelerate jobs growth in every area.
“The South West is a region with huge potential for job creation, with an excellent base of exporting companies, strong sectors and a tradition of collaboration between education institutions and businesses. It has performed well in recent years, with over 11,000 extra jobs created since we launched the national Action Plan for Jobs, but it has potential to deliver so much more. That is why we are putting in place this highly ambitious plan to dramatically accelerate job-creation in the region.”
Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine & Defence, Simon Coveney TD said: “Employment in Cork and the south west has performed well in recent years, with 11,000 extra jobs across the region since we launched the Action Plan for Jobs, and government-supported companies adding 9,000 jobs in Cork alone. However, I am well aware as a Cork minister of the huge potential that this region has to create vastly more jobs. The ambitious plan we are publishing today lays out how we will achieve that and I wish to commend Minister Bruton on this.
“The areas which I have responsibility for as minister have a major role to play in delivering on this. Agrifood and seafood have a huge impact in Cork and Kerry, and in this plan we outline how we will build on this. Furthermore, marine energy innovation is specifically identified as a fast-growing niche area to be targeted for support.”
Minister of State Sean Sherlock said “We have a wealth of world-class research activity in the region, in UCC, CIT and IT Tralee and Teagasc in Moorepark and I am confident we can achieve the potential of a 50 per cent increase in the level of collaborations with enterprise island-wide.”http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2015/07/03/south-west-action-plan-jobs-e250-million-regional-strategy/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Cobh1.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Cobh1-300x300.jpgNewsCork,ICT,jobs,Kerry