Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Election of Chairman

1:30 pm

Photo of Marcella Corcoran KennedyMarcella Corcoran Kennedy (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank members for coming. As I know that it is very hard to be called back when the Dáil has gone into recess, it is particularly appreciated. I thank them for electing me as Chairman of the Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. It is a great honour to be Chairman of an Oireachtas committee and I look forward to working with its members. I thank, in particular, Deputy Anthony Lawlor for proposing me and Deputy John Lyons for seconding my nomination. It is wonderful that they were happy to do this for me and it is genuinely appreciated.

Having taken the Chair, it is only opportune to congratulate Deputy Damien English on his appointment as Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. I know that he and the committee have done a lot of good work since its establishment in June 2012 in examining issues such as youth unemployment, mentoring, the status of casual workers, the economic development strategy for the south-east region and, the subject of last week's important report, access to finance for SMEs. I know that the committee is looking at policy options to support business growth, job creation and retention in town and village centres.

In the autumn session it is planned to discuss with the Minister the mid-term review of Vote 32, as well as the issues of public procurement, informal insolvencies, entrepreneurship, future economic growth and emigration, to mention a few areas of interest; therefore, there is plenty for us on which to work. I am very keen to hear from and work with every member in a collegial manner. I also look forward to hearing members' plans and priorities. As I like to think I am very fair, I will endeavour to be a fair and impartial Chairman for all members. I very much look forward to the challenge and I am confident that we will work well together. I have heard great reports about how the committee has operated in a collegial manner to date and would like to continue in that vein. All that remains is for me to wish members a lovely break.


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