In general terms, business decline, resulting in job losses, often arises due to a combination of issues affecting the long-term viability of a company, rather than a singular difficulty. In this context, some of the most commonly stated primary reasons for business decline and consequent job losses include:
significant decreases in customer/market demand due to the recession in Ireland and in key trading partners;
financial difficulties (insolvency, bankruptcy, bad debts, inability to raise finance);
increased competition from competitor companies (in some cases exacerbated by volatility in exchanges rates);
loss of key customers;
rationalisation/consolidation/restructuring of Group structures involving the closure of a company unit.
Job creation is central to our economic recovery and the Programme for Government has job creation at its core. 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 job creation. Key areas which I have been working on to support job creation by enterprise include improving access to finance for businesses, reforming the statutory wage setting mechanisms, reducing other costs and administrative burdens for enterprise, improving our export performance and supporting innovation.
The programmes supported by my Department and its agencies will be critical in achieving economic growth through promoting the export potential of enterprise in Ireland and driving the Smart Economy. The allocation of €514 million in Capital funding to my Department's agencies for 2012 will ensure the core programmes of the enterprise agencies are sustained and targeted as well as driving investment in research and development. This investment will drive recovery in the economy by facilitating the winning of foreign direct investments, the growth of indigenous exports and the creation of sustainable jobs.
The Government will shortly be publishing its 2012 Action Plan for Jobs which will set out a series of clear actionable measures across Government to support the creation and retention of jobs in a range of the sectors, including the manufacturing, services and the commercial sectors. The Action Plan will be published in the coming weeks, following its approval by Government.