Burton & Nash launch Action Plan for Jobs 2016

18 January 2016

· Fifth annual plan is first in new phase of the Action Plan process, aimed at creating 200,000 extra jobs by 2020

· Plan is key part of Government strategy to keep the recovery going – 50,000 extra jobs targeted for 2016

The Government today launched Action Plan for Jobs 2016, the fifth in the annual series of jobs plans aimed at building a new, sustainable economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation.

This plan is the first in a new phase of the Action Plan for Jobs process, after the original target of 100,000 extra jobs by 2016 was hit last year, 21 months ahead of schedule. According to the independent Central Statistics Office, more than 135,000 additional people are at work today compared to when the first Action Plan for Jobs was launched.

As part of this new phase of the Action Plan for Jobs process, 200,000 net additional jobs are targeted by 2020, which would bring the total numbers of people at work to 2.18million

The 2016 plan outlines 304 actions which will be implemented this year by 16 Departments and over 60 Agencies, continuing the genuinely cross-Government approach to the top priority area of job-creation.

Today’s launch took place at the Kerry Group Global Technology and Innovation Centre in Naas, Co. Kildare. The project to build this major regional jobs project received Government support in 2012, shortly after the launch of the first Action Plan for Jobs, when unemployment was over 15%. Today, over 800 mainly young people are employed in high-end jobs by this Irish multinational in this regional location.

As in previous years the plan contains 5 Disruptive Reforms – ambitious cross-Government initiatives that will have a significant measurable impact on job-creation.

Among the headline actions included in this year’s plan are:
· All Government transactions with business will be available online by 2017, a move which will affect 370 Government transactions with 185,000 businesses across the country
· We will double the intellectual property outputs from business
· Following the successful rollout of the Regional Jobs plans, further actions to support regional jobs growth supported by €530million in funding
· A step-up in skills supply, including a single Government web portal to highlight job opportunities to returning emigrants and a new National Skills Strategy
· 13,000 new jobs in Enterprise Ireland companies and 16,000 new jobs in IDA companies in 2016
· A series of measures to double the jobs impact from start-ups, including support for 185 high-potential and early-stage start-ups and 4000 jobs from the Local Enterprise Offices in 2016
· Mentoring and management development programmes for 1300 Irish companies in 2016
· €150million in new funding for R&D from Horizon 2020, and €600million in R&D investment annually from multinational companies
· A National Clustering Initiative – while clustering is an important strength of the Irish economy, particularly at regional level, research suggests that this can be significantly strengthened with specific initiatives
· Agri-food – establish a Centre for Consumer Insights and a Meat Technology Centre to support food innovation
· Financial services – IDA will develop proposals to win more “front office” financial services activities
· Measures to target jobs from new sectors including the bio-economy and the audio-visual sector

The Tánaiste said: “Since the first Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012, we’ve transformed our economy from one in crisis to one that’s now in recovery. Over 1,000 jobs are being created each week, and unemployment is at the lowest it’s been in seven years. We want to keep up this momentum and get more people into secure and well-paid jobs. The Government will continue to stand up for more jobs and opportunities for our people, through the Action Plan for Jobs 2016 and the Pathways to Work strategy in my Department. By continuing to provide stable, balanced government we can maintain the progress and meet the targets laid out in this plan.”

The Minister of State for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD said: “We are at a crucial turning point for our economy – cementing the hard won recovery and looking forward with much more confidence to sustainable growth which will deliver full employment and better living standards for our people. This Action Plan for Jobs will help Government to ensure that the benefits of our growth, built on the hard work of people, is shared by everyone. I am particularly focused on ensuring that work always pays but particularly for those on low and middle incomes. I believe we have a real opportunity now to ensure that Ireland is not only a great place to start or own a business, but it is also a great place to work, live and raise a family.”

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