BorgWarner Adds New Production Line for Electric Vehicle Technology and Creates New Jobs at Tralee Facility

As a leading supplier of advanced hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) technologies, BorgWarner further extends its production capabilities in Tralee, Ireland, with a major investment. At an event today with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, the CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, Seán Kelly, MEP, and the mayor of Tralee, Terry O’Brien, the company announced a €10 million investment in capital equipment and a €1.5 million investment in facility renovations to expand the plant’s engineering and testing capabilities, create new jobs and improve the facility’s environmental footprint.

 
Beginning in 2017, BorgWarner plans to add a flexible manufacturing line for the high-volume production of high-voltage positive temperature coefficient (PTC) cabin heaters in order to meet the growing demand for thermal management solutions that add to extended battery-powered driving range of hybrid and electric vehicles. With the support of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland, up to 50 new jobs could be created.

 
Welcoming the announcement, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “This is great news for Tralee. BorgWarner is a world-class company at the cutting edge of technologies for electric vehicles and this new investment represents key wins for the government’s job creation policies. Expanding the manufacturing sector generally is a key priority for us and these quality jobs and projects in high-potential business sectors are exactly the type we are vigorously pursuing.”

 
“In Tralee, BorgWarner continues to provide high-value employment opportunities in this regional location and has done so for over 30 years,” said Martin Shanahan. “The contribution the company makes to the local economy is highly significant. This investment marks an important milestone in our long-standing and mutually beneficial partnership.”

 
In addition to expanding manufacturing and test capabilities as well as the facility’s office and warehouse space, the investment will add highly sophisticated assembly and test equipment. “As the trend towards hybrid and electric propulsion continues, we expect demand for our efficient, high-voltage cabin heating solutions to grow. By further expanding our EV capabilities, we are able to continue supporting our customers as they look to rapidly expand their EV product portfolio,” said Joe Fadool, President and General Manager, BorgWarner Emissions & Thermal Systems. “We are pleased to expand our succesful collaboration with the IDA here in Ireland and strengthen our product leadership in advanced thermal management solutions with the investment in this strategically important location.”

 
As a global product leader in clean, energy efficient propulsion systems solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles, BorgWarner always aims at reducing the enviromental impact of its facilities around the world. The Tralee facility focused on products for advanced hybrid and electric vehicles extends its commitment to the environment with facility investments targeted at energy independence and zero landfill waste.

 

Recent examples include investments in highly efficient heat pump systems, which reduce the facility’s fuel oil consumption by 80 percent as well as improved LED lighting and building insulation.

Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor Announces HQTralee as First Recipient of Vodafone & SIRO’S Gigabit Hub Initiative

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today unveiled HQTralee as the first business hub to receive two years of free gigabit fibre broadband from Vodafone and SIRO as part of the companies’ national Gigabit Hub Initiative.

 

HQTralee is a business and innovation centre located in the heart of County Kerry, which at present houses 18 local businesses, and was officially launched by the Minister at a special opening ceremony held at HQTralee today. Currently supporting 50 jobs, HQTralee will see this number double to 100 by July 2017.

 
The Gigabit Hub Initiative was announced last month and is open to qualifying hubs in 15 towns across the country. The number of entry applications received for this unique initiative from Vodafone and SIRO greatly exceeded expectations, a clear demonstration of the importance and demand for access to quality broadband from both established businesses and start-ups across the country.

 
The six towns to be awarded free connectivity as part of the first phase of the initiative have been announced today as Tralee, Drogheda, Dundalk, Letterkenny, Cavan and Carlow. The successful hubs from each town will be announced over the coming weeks.

 
The initiative was created by Vodafone and SIRO in order to empower local businesses and communities through connected technologies. By providing world class fibre broadband connectivity into enterprise and community centres, the Gigabit Hub Initiative will enable towns across the country to strengthen and grow their rural communities by supporting regional job creation and positively impact local economies.

 
To further illustrate the significance of high speed broadband connectivity to businesses, Vodafone and SIRO undertook research amongst the businesses based at HQTralee. All surveyed said that super-fast internet connectivity would substantially increase their productivity, and were confident that the provision of reliable 1 Gigabit per second broadband in regional hubs would encourage more companies to establish or relocate to smaller towns. They also believed its provision would make towns with access more attractive to Foreign Direct Investment by multinationals, and that the availability of gigabit fibre broadband would have a positive impact on the local economy and support existing local enterprises and local communities.

 
Nine in 10 of the enterprises surveyed said that they hoped to increase either full or part-time employment in the next 12 months and that the availability of high speed broadband would lead to more people working online from home and result in an improved work-life balance. In fact, over eight in 10 (83%) said that access to high speed broadband had enhanced their own businesses, improved communication with their customers and business partners and made them more optimistic about the future.

 
Commenting at the launch, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “It’s great to see the tangible effect that high speed broadband access can have on hubs such as HQTralee, where businesses can gain access to 1 Gigabit per second broadband and spur the dynamic and exciting entrepreneurship we see here today. The Government recognises the fundamental role that broadband can play as a critical enabler for business and jobs creation across Ireland and welcomes the excellent work being carried out by Vodafone and SIRO to support regional hubs and businesses across the country.”

 
Anne O’Leary, Chief Executive of Vodafone Ireland, added: “We are delighted to be in a position to support local businesses through vital hubs such as HQTralee. If this success is replicated across all six hubs, it has the potential to create up to 600 jobs across Ireland in 2017. The economic and social benefits that 1 Gigabit broadband connectivity can bring to companies in regional Ireland are almost incalculable. New job and business opportunities will allow people to pursue their careers in small towns across Ireland without sacrificing their quality of life, rather than being forced to move to cities or abroad. The Gigabit Society we are creating will mean offering employees better work-life balance, and most importantly, encourage our successful regional businesses to remain in Ireland and compete on a level playing field with the likes of Singapore and San Francisco.”

 
Stephen O’Connor, Director of Corporate Affairs at SIRO, said: “As Ireland’s largest Fibre-to-the-Building provider, we are delighted to be helping to revitalise towns across Ireland. HQTralee and the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen illustrate the digital transformation that our 100% fibre-optic broadband network can spark and our Gigabit Hub Initiative will open up a new world of possibilities for the 15 towns involved. Strong, consistent connectivity will not only help attract new businesses to regional Ireland, it will also help Ireland’s young people create a future in the towns they call home instead of being forced to move abroad. With world beating 100% fibre-optic broadband, new jobs can be created by international businesses or by Ireland’s next generation of home-grown entrepreneurs.”

 
Co-founder of HQTralee, Ken Tobin added: “We feel that there’s no reason why people shouldn’t be able to enjoy the lifestyle of living in a town like Tralee, but being able to take advantage of the same level of broadband connectivity as Hong Kong or Tokyo. Now thanks to Vodafone and SIRO, this dream is a reality as Tralee residents don’t have to compromise and can enjoy the perfect work life balance. At HQTralee you can get 1 Gigabit broadband and still live within minutes of 10 beaches, the two highest mountains in Ireland, and Ireland’s top links golf course, and a tradition of culture, nightlife, food, arts, and sport – all within a one hour flight to Dublin and one-and-a-half-hour flight to London!”

Dingle Welcomes a new Creativity and Innovation Hub

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD attended the official opening of the Dingle Creativity and Innovation Hub (The Dingle Hub) today. The new facility provides state-of-the-art services for start-up companies to establish, expand and collaborate with other businesses, not just in Dingle but across Ireland and internationally. The Hub plans to support the creation of over 100 full time jobs in five years.

The Dingle Hub is a community enterprise initiative supported by a range of significant partners including eir, Dingle Business Chamber, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Kerry County Council and Net Feasa. Focusing on three key areas – Music/Film-making, Animation and Internet of Things (IoT), the Hub will place a significant emphasis on creativity and the role it can play in supporting and developing businesses.

eir is providing an extensive and scalable communications infrastructure which includes a 1 Gigabit dedicated fibre connection, hosted voice services and Wi-Fi. Having access to high-speed internet connectivity in a remote rural setting will be a gamechanger for Dingle. The community can retain local skills, knowledge and talent, compete on a level playing field with national and international organisations and attract new enterprises providing job creation and stimulus to the local economy.
Commenting, Jim Garvey, The Garvey Group and Spokesperson for the Hub said, “Our facility will enable a new generation of people to work and live in Dingle, doing work that was not previously possible. Dingle will continue to be a vibrant place in which to live and, though remote physically, it is now fully connected to the world beyond, so there is no limitation to the type of work that can be carried out in such a beautiful surrounding that inspires creativity and draws deeply from the local traditions and culture”.

Commenting at the launch, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in bringing this initiative to fruition. There is no disputing the significant economic and social benefits that such facilities bring to rural communities across Ireland. Dingle is a place of beauty and has a strong international reputation, not only for its entrepreneurial spirit but also its creative acumen. It is reassuring to see eir play such a pivotal role in rural regeneration. The 1GB connectivity will give users of the Hub access to a best in class network that will allow them to confidently conduct business on a local, national and global scale”.

Emphasising the key role that high speed connectivity plays in supporting such initiatives, Bill Archer, Managing Director, eir Business said “We are undertaking the largest high speed rollout programme in Ireland and a key priority for us, as part of that rollout, is to play a hands on role in the revitalisation of rural communities across Ireland. Reliable, scalable and accessible communications infrastructures are vital to realising that objective. Dingle now has access to broadband speeds that are on a par with leading European cities. This is extremely positive for local business people, entrepreneurs, start ups and visitors to the region. It means they can live, work and visit Dingle and be able to connect on a national and global scale. Our ambition is to replicate what we have delivered in Dingle to communities across Ireland – thereby creating and securing significant job opportunities”.

Working closely with Udaras na Gaeltacta and Kerry County Council, the Hub will also provide a comprehensive support and mentoring mechanism for entrepreneurs, SMEs and start ups.

Uniquely, the Hub will have two Test and Trial Networks – one for Wifi and one for Internet of Things. These will enable businesses based in the Hub to test their products and services in real world situations and to bring customers to view the systems operating in such environments. While Dingle has a resident population of approximately 1,700 people, it has over 1 million visitors per annum, so there are opportunities for testing and trialling products and services at scale.

Finally, recognising the importance of education and the need to provide the educational skills and knowledge to enable people to prosper and thrive in what is now being called the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ (i.e the interconnected world of people and things and the growing importance of data), it is planned to develop an educational programme about the issues involved in such a transformation and that will be based in Dingle.

For further details on the Hub please see – www.dinglehub.com

Shire Opens New HQ Office in Dublin City Centre

Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG), the global leader in serving patients with rare diseases, announces the opening of its new office in Ireland at the Miesian Plaza on Dublin’s Baggot Street. An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, will join Shire leaders to formally open and dedicate the company’s new offices at an event held today.

Shire’s HQ office will move from its current location in Citywest, including the local commercial and technical operations (supply chain and IT) employees based there, who will move into Baggot Street in the coming months.

Shire has leased 76,000 sq. ft. of the Miesian Plaza. The company has located one of its global corporate services teams in the building who provide support services across Shire’s global operations in the areas of procurement and finance. They are in the process of hiring 150 new employees to join this team.

By the end of June 2017, approximately 300 Shire employees will be based at the Miesian Plaza. The leased space also provides additional accommodation as Shire’s requirements increase over time.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said: “I met the Shire CEO Dr Flemming Ørnskov at the World Economic Forum in Davos last January. I am glad they have chosen Ireland as the location for a further 150 jobs. This thriving company and their pioneering work in the field of bio-medicine is exactly the type of business we seek to attract. Our unemployment rate has gone from 15.2% to 6.4% and the Government will continue to work for a robust economy for all our people.”

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said, “As Minister for Jobs, I welcome Shire’s ongoing commitment to Ireland. The pharma industry makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports, and is one of our fastest growing sectors. We are very keen to attract speciality pharma companies like Shire who will broaden the reach of the industry here and generate new opportunities.”

Alan Walshe, General Manager for Ireland said: “It’s an exciting time for us at Shire in Ireland. The decision to open our corporate HQ at the Miesian Plaza and last year’s announcement of our investment in a state-of-the-art biologics facility at Piercetown in County Meath demonstrates that Ireland remains an important part of Shire’s global footprint and future strategy.”

Welcoming the announcement Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland said: “Ireland is a global centre of excellence in life sciences due to the country’s strong regulatory track record and talent availability. Shire’s continued growth here across a number of business activities and its previously announced manufacturing investment is a clear endorsement of Ireland’s ongoing attractiveness to overseas companies.”

Tenable Selects Dublin as Home for its First International Headquarters

Tenable Network Security®, Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity, today announced, in partnership with Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland, the opening of its new international headquarters in the heart of the Dublin Docklands, and its plans to create 100 jobs over the next two years.

Amit Yoran, chairman and CEO of Tenable, with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, marked the grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the company’s commitment and investment in the local Dublin economy.

Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, “I warmly welcome the establishment of your international headquarters here in Dublin and the announcement that this will create an additional 100 jobs over the next two years. The ICT Sector has made extraordinary advances in recent years, but these advances bring their own security challenges. That’s where companies like Tenable come in. These jobs are an additional boost to the 6,000 already working in cybersecurity here. I wish you and your team the very best and I look forward to watching your company thrive and grow in the coming years.”

“Tenable is a fast-paced, innovative security company, so it’s only natural we chose Dublin, a city known around the world for its tech talent, as the home of our first international headquarters,” said Amit Yoran, chairman and CEO, Tenable. “I’m grateful to the Minister and IDA for this warm welcome, and I’m excited for Tenable to be part of this great community.”

Welcoming the announcement, Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland said, “Tenable’s decision to establish its new international headquarters in Dublin significantly bolsters Ireland’s reputation as a cybersecurity hub within Europe. Ireland, as a committed member of the European Union, provides companies with access to a highly skilled and mobile IT talent pool. IDA looks forward to supporting the company as it grows and develops its international footprint from Ireland.”

The grand opening comes on the heels of record results for the company, which added a number of new enterprise customers and increased its EMEA headcount by 76 percent in 2016. With its new international headquarters, Tenable now has offices in 20 countries, allowing the company to better respond to surging global demand for its innovative products.

To learn about opportunities at Tenable, visit the company’s career site at tenable.com/careers, and follow career updates on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches the Framework for Town Centre Renewal

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, has today launched the Framework for Town Centre Renewal.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “As Chairperson of the Retail Consultation Forum, I am delighted to launch the Framework for Town Centre Renewal in Sligo today. The Framework sets out a practical step by step action plan for stakeholders to work collaboratively to enhance their local town or village. It will be a key support document for towns and villages applying for funding under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme launched by my colleague Minister Humphries ten days ago.”

The Framework for Town Centre Renewal will play an important part in the work to rejuvenate and revitalise towns and villages around the country. The Framework supports the Government’s commitment to ensure that the benefits of sustainable economic recovery are felt in every part of Ireland.
The Framework for Town Centre Renewal was prepared by a Working Group within the Retail Consultation Forum. A key challenge identified by the Forum was the issue of Town Centre Renewal and the need to develop a coherent and collaborative approach to implementing town centre renewal. Development of a Framework for Town Centre Renewal was a key priority for the Retail Consultation Forum under the Action Plan for Jobs 2017.

The Framework sets out the key characteristics of a successful town centre and identifies existing supports and best practice examples from around the country. Most importantly, the Framework includes an Action Plan for Town Centre Renewal which is intended to be a blueprint for towns and villages, guiding them through the three stages of town centre renewal: stakeholder engagement, carrying out a town centre health check and preparing a Town Centre Plan. The Framework includes a number of case studies which provide practical examples of best practice from a number of towns and villages around the country.

The Minister said: “Through a collaborative and structured approach to town centre renewal and the continued passion and dedication of people in towns and villages across the country we can achieve our ambition to create vibrant, thriving town centres that are attractive places not only to live in but to work in, do business in and invest in.”

“I would like to thank Seamus Neely, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, who chaired the Working Group which prepared this Framework, and all members of the Group for their contribution to the Framework.”
Through the Framework for Town Centre Renewal Town and the recently launched Village Renewal Scheme, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs are collectively supporting local Authorities, local businesses and local communities to adopt town centre management best practices and identify projects which will have a positive economic impact on their towns and villages.

Chopped to double in size with 20 new Irish outlets, 430 new jobs and UK expansion

Today, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Brian Lee co-founder and managing director of Chopped (@ChoppedIRL), the healthy food company, announced the creation of 320 new jobs, a mix of full and part time, as a result of Chopped’s continued expansion in Ireland. Chopped will open 20 new stores across the country in 2017. These stores will be joined by six new Chopped stores in the UK, its first outside Ireland, with the creation of 110 jobs to service the new outlets and manage the international roll out of the brand. The 20 new stores will be mix of wholly owned and franchised outlets.

The new outlets will join existing Chopped locations in Dublin, Kildare and Galway. Chopped has recently opened new sites in Talbot Street, UCD in Dublin and Newcastle Road, Galway. 2017 will see the opening of Chopped outlets in counties Wicklow, Cork, Waterford and continued expansion in Dublin.

Commenting on the new jobs, Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “I welcome this news that Chopped is creating 320 jobs in 20 new outlets across Ireland. Indigenous Irish businesses such as Chopped are important to the national economy as well as making a valuable contribution to local areas through employment and expenditure. Ireland has one of the fastest growing employment rates in Europe and it is home grown companies such as Chopped that are helping to sustain this. I am particularly pleased that this expansion will lead to job growth in regions as balanced regional development is a key priority for me. It’s great to see young business people in Ireland build on their success here to fuel international expansion and I wish Brian and Andy and their staff continued success in the future both at home and abroad.”

Speaking at the announcement, Brian Lee, co-founder and managing director of Chopped commented: “Last year we set a target of increasing our staff numbers by 100 and we exceeded that expectation by increasing our employees by 140 in 2016. When we received the keys for our first store five years ago, we knew it was the beginning of something great, but we still believe this is only the beginning for Chopped. Our staff are what makes Chopped the success it has become and we are looking forward to seeing our family grow as we expand across Ireland and beyond.”

Chopped was developed to meet the needs of the growing number of Irish consumers who want a great tasting meal that is healthy, delicious and fresh. Everything about the distinctive grass clad interior exudes freshness and the visionary open theatre of food allows Chopped to offer a ‘create your own salad’ experience in front of the customer in minimum time. Crisp lettuce selections, garden fresh vegetables, salad dressings, and more than 30 ingredients are ‘chopped’ and freshly dressed into a unique salad bowl or in a sealed savoury wrap. Full calories are counted for each salad, wrap and sandwich and Chopped offers a delivery, collection, take-away and dine-in service, with fast meal service times. With all the Chopped flavours created by a skilled team in central kitchens, consistency of flavour is guaranteed across all outlets.

Citrix to create 150 new jobs as part of expansion drive in Ireland

Today Citrix announced that it will create 150 new jobs as part of an expansion drive at its Dublin office, which is based in East Point Business Park, adding 26,000 square feet of office space to the current footprint. This project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

The job creation comes as a result of a decision to centralise Citrix’s Inside Sales activities in Dublin, combined with an increased focus on Customer Success services and the growing adoption of cloud technologies by businesses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The new jobs will primarily consist of Inside Sales and Technical Support Services roles to support Citrix transition to a cloud model.

Citrix’s current office facilities will also be upgraded to provide a state-of-art work environment, which encourages open collaboration and social interaction. The expanded office will provide workspaces for over 400 employees and will host the EMEA Inside Sales and Tech Support functions and other support roles.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said:
“I am delighted to be here today for this major expansion by Citrix. We already have a strong footprint of ICT companies in the Dublin area and we always encourage these companies to expand and diversify. That is exactly what Citrix have decided to do, with the creation of an additional 150 valuable, high skilled jobs, which is a great vote of confidence in what we have to offer. I am confident that Ireland has the IT skills available to facilitate this exciting expansion.”

Sherif Seddik, VP and Managing Director of Citrix EMEA, added:
“We ultimately decided that Dublin is the best location to attract the right talent and build out our Inside Sales EMEA practice. Having first committed to Ireland in 1999, we have gone from strength to strength and are delighted to continue our growth story in Dublin.
Citrix recognises that the mid-market and SMB segments, combined with the move to a Cloud-based model, are pivotal to our success. Adopting cloud technologies in the enterprise is much more complex than just downloading an app. Companies have to rationalise all of their past, present, and future investments and tie them together seamlessly as they progress toward the cloud future. Today’s announcement will enable us to create a better experience for our customers and partners.
We are looking for a wide range of talent, including new graduates, experienced technical support engineers and sales staff. We would encourage anyone looking to take their career to the next level to explore the roles available.”

Speaking at the announcement, Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland, said:
“The decision by Citrix to expand in Dublin is a major endorsement of Ireland as a premier EMEA location for global software companies. The expansion reflects the increasing strategic role that Citrix’s Irish operation will have for the company in EMEA. Ireland is a committed member of the European Union and provides companies with guaranteed access to the European market. Ireland continues to attract the brightest multilingual talent from across Europe to work and live here.”

As part of this expansion, Citrix is also establishing a Sales Academy at its Dublin offices in order to develop junior sales talent, with the aim of preparing them for more senior roles with the company in the future. For technical roles Citrix has an established internship program that has been accepting candidates for over five years and have developed close links with the universities and Institutes of Technology in Ireland.
Recruitment for the positions has already started and Citrix intends to fulfill up to half of the roles by the summer, before completing the recruitment drive by the end of the year. For details of how to apply for these positions please visit www.citrix.com/careers.

Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Minister welcomes the National Competitiveness Council Report, Competitiveness Benchmarking; Ireland and the UK, 2017

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor has welcomed the National Competitiveness Council’s Report benchmarking Ireland & UK competitiveness, which she says will help inform Ireland’s ongoing response to the economic challenge posed by Brexit.

The report identifies a range of priority areas which will require policy responses in the short, medium and long term to safeguard Ireland’s national competitiveness.

“The Council’s report provides a timely reminder of Ireland’s strengths, which need to be protected and enhanced, and also of areas where we need to remain vigilant and accelerate progress on addressing competitiveness gaps with the UK so as to ensure job creation across all regions,” commented Minister Mitchell O’Connor.

While the Council advises against any narrowing of the tax base which would leave Ireland exposed and says it must be ensured that the tax system supports and rewards employment, enterprise, investment and innovation it has commended the Government’s efforts in bringing fiscal stability and improved performance, describing it as ‘exceptional’.

The 2017Action Plan for Job sets out an ambitious target for Ireland to achieve a top 5 global competitiveness ranking based on the IMD Competitiveness Scorecard by 2020.

The challenges posed by Brexit provide urgent impetus to pursue policies that enhance our competitiveness performance. We have already begun steps to address this, prioritising investment to improve the availability and quality of infrastructure as part of the Review of the Capital Plan and the forthcoming National Planning Framework.

The report finds that a skilled labour force must be the key emphasis for retaining and winning mobile investment and the growth of a cohort of internationally-trading indigenous companies. We are continuing to invest in skills development under the National Skills Strategy.

We are enhancing access to competitively priced sources of finance for growth to facilitate businesses to establish and grow, including non-bank financing sources and increasing public investment in R&D to enhance Ireland’s innovation performance.

The Minister says her Department and the Government are very conscious of the need for a sustained focus on competitiveness and, ahead of the report, had already set out 20 actions in the Action Plan for Jobs to ensure we are prepared for the immediate and more medium term impacts of Brexit. “Through the reforms set out in the 2017 Action Plan for Jobs, my Department and others are working to improve the ease of doing business, reduce the administrative burden by putting transactions on-line, enhance our cost competitiveness such as addressing insurance costs, increase innovation capacity and productivity and drive greater efficiencies across the enterprise base.”

The Minister continued: “My Department is also increasing resources for Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland to increase the competitiveness of our indigenous enterprise base and enhance our attractiveness as a location for FDI relative to the UK. We have increased resources for the enterprise development agencies. Enterprise Ireland has published its new strategy for the period to 2020 while IDA Ireland is undertaking a progress review of its five year strategy. We are undertaking a review of our own Government enterprise policy Enterprise 2025. We are examining the sector-by-sector implications of the UK leaving the Single Market. Work is underway on possible future supports for SMEs that could be impacted by Brexit. And as a follow-on to the Government’s new Trade and Investment Strategy, Ireland Connected, launched in March, Enterprise Ireland will shortly publish its Eurozone Strategy.”

“So much has been done already to respond to the challenge of Brexit and we will continue to implement improvements to policies that were identified as priority areas in the report. Competitiveness is key to success in international markets and helping businesses to improve their competitiveness will remain a key focus for my Department and the Government”, commented Minister Mitchell O’Connor.

 

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Seeks Participation from Irish Businesses in New Study on Corporate Social Responsibility

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has commissioned a national study on Corporate Social Responsibility and are seeking participation from businesses of all sizes operating in Ireland. This will be the first comprehensive study of its kind in Ireland and will inform the development of Ireland’s Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility which is due for publication this year
The study will assist the Government in ensuring Ireland’s international commitments in this area are met and, in this context, consultation with the private sector through the study is extremely important.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said “This first national study is important in determining the level of Corporate Social Responsibility in Ireland in 2017 so that good practices can be effectively encouraged and supported. This government is committed to encouraging and supporting quality employment opportunities and CSR has an important role to play in making Ireland a great place to work and to do business.”

Industry consultation is central to the government’s approach to supporting and developing good CSR practices in Ireland. The CSR Stakeholder Forum is comprised of industry representatives, academics and representatives of many government departments. The Forum has been meeting regularly since September 2015.

A new chair of the forum was recently announced with Catherine Heaney, Director of DHR Communications taking over from outgoing chair Brendan Jennings, Managing Partner at Deloitte Ireland.

Speaking about importance of CSR Catherine Heaney said “CSR has multiple benefits. It allows employees develop new skills, meet new people and work on projects outside of their comfort zone. It opens up opportunities for collaboration and networking between clients from different sectors. Most importantly, it means we know we can provide support to charities, organisations and individuals to which we are deeply committed.”

Businesses, of any size and sector, operating in Ireland are encouraged to participate in this study by visiting www.csrhub.ie and completing the survey by Friday 14th April 2017.

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation promotes CSR online through the CSR Hub, the @CSRHubIRL Twitter account and a quarterly e-zine.