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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 13 Nov 2002

Vol. 557 No. 2

Written Answers. - Job Creation.

Paudge Connolly


149 Mr. Connolly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if initiatives are planned to increase employment in the Monaghan town area. [21704/02]

The Government, through the enterprise development agencies, IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the county enterprise boards and FÁS, the National Training Authority, is committed to ensuring the most equitable distribution of job opportunities and to encouraging the establishment of industry in the regions.

In response to recent job losses in County Monaghan, FÁS has been in contact with the companies in question. It has offered guidance and support to all that are made redundant to assist them in seeking alternative employment or suitable training programmes. FÁS currently provides over 750 training and employment places in County Monaghan under its community employment, job initiative and social economy programmes. It is and will continue to provide pro-active responses in terms of guidance counselling, training or retraining to all those affected by company closures. IDA Ireland is committed, as part of its strategy on regional development, to placing 50% cent of all new investment into the Border, Midlands and West region. The agency has established a regional office in Cavan in order to increase its focus and marketing efforts in the mid-Border areas, of which Monaghan is a part.

In conjunction with Monaghan County Enterprise Board, IDA also participates in the Armagh-Monaghan digital corridor initiative which is geared towards encouraging enterprises with a requirement for advanced telecoms to locate on both sides of the Border where the telecommunications networks of both jurisdictions can be accessed. The IDA recognises that the availability of an advance factory is critical to securing a project for the town and has obtained planning permission for a 25,000 sq. ft. unit on its 30 acre site located at Knockaconny and secured a developer to provide this facility.
As part of its role in regional development, Enterprise Ireland, through its north-east regional office in Dundalk, is committed to driving growth in enterprise, and thereby jobs, in the regions, particularly in the counties of the BMW region. Enterprise Ireland's efforts to encourage and assist industry development is focused on export promotion, assisting the development of innovative products, encouraging new business start-ups with significant development potential, identifying deficits in the operating environment and promoting the north-east as an excellent location for Irish mobile investment.
The agency has spent more than €2.9 million to date in 2002 in support of client companies in County Monaghan. In addition, €177,144 was approved for two projects from Monaghan Chamber of Commerce and Emyvale Development Association – in conjunction with Monaghan County Enterprise Board – under the first phase of the new community enterprise centre scheme. These centres provide the necessary infrastructure for the establishment of small companies that have development and job creation potential.
At micro-enterprise level Monaghan County Enterprise Board has a range of financial and non financial instruments to assist individuals who wish to establish businesses in the county. The board has, in conjunction with Monaghan County Enterprise Fund, constructed a purpose built 22,000 sq. ft. IT technology park known as the M:Tek building in Monaghan town, which is designed specifically to attract IT related activities to the area.
InterTradeIreland, with a remit to foster trade between the North and South, is in addition operating across all sections of industry complementing the activities of its sister development agencies on the island. InterTradeIreland's key activities cover graduate placement, equity awareness, business fora and public procurement.
I am convinced that the combined efforts of the industrial development agencies will, over time, result in improved prospects for employment growth in County Monaghan.