The Action Plan for Jobs included a list of actions to be pursued for the Manufacturing sector. One of the key actions was that a Manufacturing Development Forum be established to assist the Government in identifying the needs of manufacturing enterprises and to progress a transformation agenda. To this end I recently established a Manufacturing Development Forum whose membership comprises key industry players to help drive this process.There are also representatives from Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Forfás. The first meeting of the Forum took place in my Department on 29th June last.
As part of its terms of reference the Forum will provide expert insights into the development of the Long-term Vision and Strategic plan for Manufacturing which is being led by Forfás, and the prioritisation of specific actions aimed at addressing the key challenges facing the manufacturing sector, and provide input to the Action Plan for Jobs . As a first step I have asked the Forum to consider the biggest impediments to job creation in manufacturing in Ireland and the immediate areas of opportunities for job creation in the sector. The feedback from the Forum on these issues will form the agenda for the next meeting of the Forum which I expect to take place within two months.