The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Jobs today [Friday] published Action Plan for Jobs 2013, the next step in the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and accelerate the transition to a sustainable, jobs-rich economy based on enterprise, innovation and exports.
The Plan, which contains 333 actions to be implemented in 2013 by 16 Government Departments and 46 agencies, will build on the progress made in 2012 and continue to improve supports for job-creating businesses and remove the barriers to employment-creation across the economy. These actions are additional to the 249 actions already implemented under Action Plan 2012, which have helped support net growth of almost 12,000 in private sector employment in the past year. In the three years to March 2011 a net 250,000 jobs were lost in the private sector.
In a major departure from the 2012 plan, Action Plan 2013 contains seven headline “Disruptive Reform” measures – high-impact measures with highly ambitious deadlines, implemented in partnership with senior industry figures and selected because of their potential to have a significant effect on job-creation:
- JobsPlus – over two years the State will pay €1 of every €4 it costs an employer to recruit a long-term unemployed person off the Live Register
- ICT Skills – provide an additional 2,000 ICT graduate level professionals in 2013, and by 2018 lead Europe in terms of ICT graduates as a percentage of all third level graduates
- Energy Efficiency – the Government will create a €70million Energy Efficiency Fund to support 20 major projects in 2013 and ultimately create 5,000 jobs
- Trading Online – get 2,000 more small businesses trading online in 2013 and 2014, with the creation of 3,200 jobs
- Business Licences – create a single licensing application system for up to 25 licences in the retail sector, saving retailers over €20million per annum
- Big Data – make Ireland one of the leading countries in Europe for Big Data, a sector growing by up to 40% per annum
- Health Innovation Hub – Government will establish a world-renowned centre to establish Ireland as a leading location for start-up and growing medtech and healthcare companies
As part of the new approach to these major projects, six senior industry figures with track records of developing businesses and creating jobs will be appointed to bring their experience and skills to bear on implementing the Disruptive Reforms and on Government jobs and enterprise policy more generally. These leading figures from a mix of multinational and indigenous industry are being asked to help to drive implementation and efficiencies and identify new opportunities for cooperation with the private sector. These individuals will also join a newly reconfigured National Competitiveness Council.
Other measures to be delivered in 2013 under the Plan include:
- Foreign Direct Investment – IDA to target more than 130 new investments, secure €500million worth of R&D investment and help create 13,000 new jobs in 2013
- Indigenous Companies – Enterprise Ireland will as part of a comprehensive programme of supports, financially support 155 high potential and early-stage start-ups, assist 300 companies develop new overseas markets through the Potential Exporters Division and will support over 1,000 companies on management development programmes
- Global Sourcing – €500million in additional contracts in 2013 for Irish companies from multinationals based here
- Access to Finance – By end 2013 new Government finance schemes worth over €2billion will be lending to businesses; pillar bank lending targets for 2013 increased to €4billion; Credit Review Office strengthened
- Costs – New Government policy statement on economic regulation; the landmark Companies Bill will make it cheaper to start and run a company; and the Workplace Relations Commission that will merge five worker relations bodies into two will be operational by the second half of the year.
- Science/research – through SFI, provide support to five new Research Centres of major scale, involving Government investment of over €150 million and leveraging an industry contribution of over 30%
- Sectors – continue to target employment growth in key sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture/food, aviation and cloud computing.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, said:
“The Government’s top priority is to get Ireland working again. The Action Plan for Jobs 2013 is central to our job creation ambitions as we seek to increase the number of new jobs by 100,000 by 2016. The previous Government built an economy based on debt and property that collapsed like a house of cards. We are rebuilding our economy brick-by-brick, making it stronger, ensuring that successes gained are here for the long term.
“The Action Plan for Jobs will continue to focus on our traditional enterprise sectors along with new growth industries. It will target small Irish businesses and new start-ups as well as the biggest multinational companies. This year’s plan will contain a number of landmark, step-change projects that will act as exemplars to enterprise as we rebuild an enterprise-focused economy. We have a plan. We are implementing it. And we will see it through until we get Ireland working again.”
An Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore TD, said:
“Through the Action Plan for Jobs all government departments and agencies are working together to ensure that we remain focused on our primary goal – to create jobs and tackle unemployment. For my own part, as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, I am working hard to develop our trade strategy in priority markets to create opportunities for our indigenous business.
“Creating jobs for our people and equipping the unemployed to move into employment will remain top priorities for this Government. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Government to implement the wide range of actions set out in this 2013 Action Plan for Jobs”.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said:
“The Action Plan for Jobs is aimed at supporting the transition from the old, failed economy reliant on property, banking and debt to a new, sustainable, jobs-rich economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation. In the twelve months since we launched the first plan that transition has been gathering momentum, with 12,000 net jobs added in the private sector and a record year for job-creation by exporting companies in multinational and indigenous sectors.
“In this year’s plan we are building on those achievements and raising our ambitions. 333 new actions to support business, reduce costs, improve access to finance and target growth sectors will be delivered this year by 16 Departments and 46 Agencies. More importantly, we will also implement seven Disruptive Reforms, in areas which can have an immediate impact such as ICT skills and retail, to challenge the system and deliver ambitious change to support job-creation.
“The results from the 2012 make this much clear – the plan is working. However we have a long way to go. The challenge now is to build on the progress we have made, work harder, deliver more ambitious change – and we are determined to do that to tackle our number one priority and create the jobs we need”.