Written answers

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation

Employment Support Services

12:00 pm

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Question 51: To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation the action he is taking to stop emigration; the pre-emptive projects planned to create employment here to stop 100,000 persons leaving by 2014, as envisaged by the Government in its budgetary outlook 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45494/10]

Photo of Batt O'KeeffeBatt O'Keeffe (Minister, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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The role of my Department is to ensure that we have the right policies in place that will support and grow our enterprise base in order to facilitate both job creation and job retention. Workers are mobile, and migration, both inward and outward, has always been a feature of Ireland's labour force, as it has been the world over. Clearly, there is a difference between voluntary migration where people choose to work abroad for various reasons, and the current situation where many people feel that they have to look elsewhere for work until such time as the Irish economy picks up and their skills are in demand here again. We experienced this during the 1980s and 1990s, when skilled workers left Ireland for jobs, to return some years later, with greater experience and skills, as our economy grew.

The National Recovery Plan, which was published by the Government on 24th November, provides a blueprint for Ireland's return to sustainable economic growth. It identifies the areas of activity, which will provide increased employment opportunities as Ireland's economic recovery takes place. The Plan sets out a range of specific actions and supports designed to improve competitiveness across all sectors of the economy, including the SME sector. These include measures to cut costs to business, the removal of barriers to employment creation, and a range of sector-specific actions to increase exports and domestic demand.

The State Development agencies, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, and the County and City Enterprise Boards are continuing to drive and promote enterprise development, and consequently employment creation in our economy. IDA Ireland continues to market and promote Ireland for inward investment. Indeed, earlier this week, on 30 November, global management consultancy Accenture, an IDA client company that already employs 1,300 people in Ireland, announced the creation of an additional 100 jobs at a new centre in Dublin.

Enterprise Ireland is actively focused on the creation of new jobs through supporting entrepreneurs setting up new high potential start-up companies, and the retention and creation of new jobs in existing companies. The agency also continues to work with community groups around the country to develop community enterprise centres designed to foster micro enterprises. The County and City Enterprise Boards support the micro enterprise sector - businesses with 10 employees or less - in the start-up and expansion phases and promotes entrepreneurship at local level.

In September, the Taoiseach launched the five-year integrated Government plan for trade, tourism and investment aimed at generating 300,000 jobs by the end of 2015. The new plan, "Trading and Investing in a Smart Economy", is the first integrated strategy to promote overseas trade, tourism and investment. With this new strategy, the Government aims to position Ireland for strong export-led growth to 2015, resulting in high levels of job creation. The plan aims to create over 150,000 direct new jobs (IDA Ireland 75,000, Enterprise Ireland 60,000, tourism 15,000) in manufacturing, tourism and internationally trading services, with another 150,000 spin-off jobs.

In addition to delivering programmes through the Enterprise Development agencies, my Department also works across Government to ensure that Ireland regains competitiveness, including cost competitiveness, thus improving the business environment and enabling companies to successfully compete internationally and grow jobs.


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