Successful implementation of Plan for Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford would see creation of 25,000 extra jobs in the region – Minister Bruton
7th September 2015
The Government today launched the South East Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at delivering 10-15% employment growth in the region over the coming years.
The Plan is the third of 8 regional jobs plans to be published over the coming months, as part of a new €250million regional jobs strategy led by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.
The project to develop jobs plans for each of the 8 regions was in part born out of the success of the previous pioneering South East Plan process, established by Minister Bruton after the sudden job losses in Talk Talk in Waterford in 2011 and in response to the historic unemployment challenges in the South East region. Since 2012 the South East has had the fastest rate of jobs growth of any region in the country, with 25,300 extra jobs created in the region in 3 years, representing a 13.9% increase.
The new South East Plan builds on and expands this process, covering counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. Key sectors targeted as part of the plan include agri-food, tourism, life sciences, manufacturing, retail and financial services/business services. Among the 194 actions in the plan to be delivered over the period 2015-2017 include:
Employment in the South East declined by 37,900 (17%) during the crash; since the national Action Plan for Jobs was launched in Q1 2012 jobs in the region have grown by 25,300 (13.9%). The plan launched today targets employment growth of 10-15% over and above today’s employment levels.
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 believes that based on all the evidence and the strong buy-in for the process up to this point it is realistic to target 25,000 additional jobs in the region by 2020.
Launching the plan today, 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 €250million regional jobs strategy, to support regions to play to their strengths and accelerate jobs growth in every area.
“The South East is a region which has faced major historic unemployment problems, but which in the past three years has started to really bounce back and now has the fastest rate of jobs growth of all of the 8 regions in the country. In the past 3 years more than 25,000 jobs have been added in the region, meaning jobs have grown by almost 14%. This has been achieved mainly by the ingenuity, hard work and collaboration of workers and businesses in the region, and provides a model for many other areas in the country. However we can do more, and that hat is why we are putting in place this highly ambitious plan to dramatically accelerate job-creation in the region.
“I am convinced that with the right support from Government through the South East Plan, and by continuing the collaborative approach right across the region, we can deliver 25,000 extra jobs over the coming years. This would be 25,000 extra pay packets coming into communities and 25,000 lives back on track – a goal well worth fighting for”.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin TD said: “It is clear that Ireland is now emerging from recession. It is vital that every region benefits in full measure from our improving economy. The South East suffered in particular during the economic collapse and we recognised the need for a regional plan to ensure that this region gets back to full employment. I am very pleased to be part of today’s launch of a new South East Plan which will further build on the job creation that has taken place to date. The creation of new jobs has only been made possible through this Government’s ongoing prudent management of our finances as we recover from the past number of years and our ongoing commitment to getting people back to work in all regions. We will continue to ensure that the economic recovery reaches all parts of the country.”
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly TD said: “The South-East has a strong track record of producing world class products and selling them to global markets. We have Irelands largest inland town in Clonmel and plenty of available land, water resources, pharmaceutical skills as well as accessibility to European and other markets,”
“When that is combined with our strong entrepreneurial reputation and traditional agricultural base, Tipperary and the South East is well placed for economic growth and job creation”.
The South East Action Plan for Jobs is available at www.djei.ie/en/