Govt job plan has long term unemployed focus
Updated: Friday, 22 Feb 2013 22:10
The Government has promised a series of "disruptive reforms" as part of a new employment promotion scheme launched this morning.
The plan contains 333 actions to be implemented in 2013 by 16 Government departments and 46 agencies.
The job creation scheme is focused on the long-term unemployed, providing a cash-flow benefit to businesses that hire jobseekers who have been on the Live Register for 12 months or more.
Under the Action Plan for Jobs 2013, the State will pay €1 for every €4 it will cost an employer to take a long term unemployed person off the Live Register.
It says it will get 2,000 more small businesses trading online in 2013 and 2014, with the creation of 3,200 jobs.
The plan also aims to create a single licensing application system for up to 25 licences in the retail sector, saving retailers over €20m per annum.
The IDA plans to target more than 130 new investments, secure €500m worth of research and development investment and help create 13,000 new jobs this year.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said he could not put an exact figure on the number of jobs that would be created this year.
Speaking on RTÉ´s News at One, Mr Bruton said he expected more jobs to be created compared to last year, when Enterprise Ireland and the IDA created around 10,000 jobs.
The Action Plan promises to provide an extra 2,000 ICT graduates in 2013 and will make it easier for companies to bring skilled workers to Ireland from abroad.
The Government will also create a €70m energy efficiency fund, which it says will create 5,000 jobs
Speaking at the launch of the plan, Taoiseach Enda Kenny acknowledged employment had not moved in the right direction to the extent the Government would have liked.
However, he pointed out that 12,000 net jobs were created in the private sector last year.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said: "We have a lot of work to do, but it's what we get up to work for every morning."
In a statement, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said: "This is a scheme that will be straightforward to administer and will encourage the recruitment of jobseekers who have been on the Live Register for 12 months or more."
The plan pledges to make Ireland one of the leading countries in Europe for what it calls 'Big Data', which it says is a sector growing by up to 40% per annum.
It says the Government will establish a centre to establish Ireland as a leading location for start-up and growing medtech and healthcare companies.
Chief Executive of the Irish Stock Exchange Deirdre Somers said the plan would be an essential step in identifying the challenges facing mid-sized companies.
She said Ireland needs more success stories like Ryanair, Kerry Group and Paddy Power, to help create jobs and assist the country’s recovery.
Director of the Small Firms Association Avine McNally said it was vital that all the proposals in the action plan are acted upon and delivered if new jobs are to be delivered.
She said the measures to tackle unemployment need to be reflected in the measures used to support SMEs.
Meanwhile, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said there needs to be a representative for the construction sector in government because it was falling between the various departments.
Director General Tom Parlon said any action to reduce the number of unemployed construction workers must be welcomed, but said the Federation was disappointed that “that only five of the 333 action points brought forward specifically deal with the construction sector and of those two points have been recycled from the 2012 plan”.
Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson for jobs Dara Calleary said that his party welcome elements of the Government's plan, but is concerned about the lack of job targets.