I propose to take Questions Nos. 217, 220 and 221 together.
The Forfás Annual Employment Survey reports on job gains and losses in companies that are supported by the enterprise development agencies. Data is compiled on an annualised basis.
The survey shows that in the four year period 2008 to 2011 a total of 332 jobs were created in IDA Ireland's client companies in County Kerry. The number of jobs created in each of these years is shown in the attached tabular statement. While corresponding data for 2012 will not be available until the end of the year, IDA Ireland has informed me that it currently has 12 client companies in County Kerry who employ almost 1,500 people.
One of the high level goals of IDA Ireland's Strategy document "Horizon 2020” is that, in the period 2010 to 2014, 50% of investments will be located in areas outside of Dublin and Cork. The Strategy also highlights that IDA Ireland will work with its existing client companies to transform the existing foreign direct investment (FDI) base in order to develop, retain and grow employment in these companies. There is intense and continual international competition to win FDI. One of the challenges that IDA encounters in encouraging investment into regional locations is the desire of investors to locate in areas with large population bases, typically in excess of 1 million people. Ireland has one such Metro Region, the Greater Dublin area. In order to achieve balanced regional development IDA Ireland focuses on promoting Gateway locations within each Region as the areas of critical mass (population/skill base/infrastructure/utilities/business services etc.) and highlights the opportunities provided by Hub locations which are within commuting distances of these Gateways. There are 7 Gateway locations outside of Dublin and Cork.
With regard to Co Kerry, IDA Ireland has explained that it markets the linked hub locations of Killarney in South Kerry and Tralee in North Kerry for new inward investment. In addition, the agency promotes other locations as part of its marketing efforts in response to specific client requirements. Whilst IDA Ireland seeks to influence the selection of a location, the final decision on where to locate is taken in all cases by the investor.
Table showing the number of new jobs created in IDA client companies in County Kerry in the period 2008 to 2011
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Number of New Jobs created