I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 111 together.
In my role as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, I have on-going engagement with individual employers and business representative bodies.
In preparing the 2012 Action Plan for Jobs, I consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including employers, to obtain their views on actions to support employment creation. The Action Plan contains over 270 measures to support the Government's objectives of making Ireland the best small country in which to do business and getting 100,000 extra people back to work by 2016.
I have held a series of regional follow-up meetings on the Action Plan for Jobs, which employers and business interests have been invited to attend to explore what further actions need to be taken to support job creation in the economy. I will also be consulting with employer representative bodies shortly in the context of developing ideas for the 2013 Action Plan for Jobs.
The Government's strategy on Labour Market Activation — Pathways to Work — aims to ensure that, as employment opportunities arise through the Action Plan for Jobs initiative, as many of those jobs as possible will be filled by people from the Live Register. Pathways to Work envisages a more meaningful engagement between the Department of Social Protection and employers to achieve this objective.
The Department of Social Protection has also simplified and extended the Employer Job (PRSI) Incentive Scheme. This scheme provides exemption from the payment of employers' PRSI contributions for 18 months when a qualifying unemployed person is recruited. Other supports and incentives available to employers to take on new employees, such as Revenue Job Assist, are also being actively promoted.
The Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Joan Burton, has, in addition, announced an increase of 1,000 additional places on the JobBridge internship programme this year. JobBridge gives employers the opportunity to provide meaningful work experience to unemployed people and, as a secondary benefit, gives employers the opportunity to consider the suitability of an individual for a position within the company once they complete their internship.