Job creation is at the top of the Government's agenda. The Action Plan for Jobs outlines the Government's plan to rebuild the economy and create jobs. The Enterprise Development agencies will be at the forefront of implementing the Action Plan for Jobs and will ensure that local enterprises can maximise their contribution to economic and jobs growth. In 2011, Enterprise Ireland paid over €5.4m in financial support to its client companies in South County Dublin and there were 12,641 people in full time employment in those companies. The New Frontiers programme, which focuses on developing a person's entrepreneurial abilities and is co-ordinated by Enterprise Ireland, is providing €4.25 million in funding to enable the Institutes of Technology, including Tallaght IT, to deliver the programme at a local level. So far this year, 23 people participated in Phase 1 of New Frontiers at Tallaght IT and 15 applicants have recently been offered a place on Phase 2, which is due to commence on 18th July next. A new Community Enterprise Centre Development Programme was launched this year for the maintenance or establishment of a strong business development function in the Community Enterprise Centres that are funded by Enterprise Ireland. Three Community Enterprise Centres in the Tallaght Area were successful in securing this funding in 2012. These were Partas, Brookfield Enterprise Centre and Partas, Killinarden Enterprise Centre, both in Tallaght and Action Community and Enterprise, Bawnogue Enterprise Centre in Clondalkin. Action Community and Enterprise also received support for the refurbishment and expansion of Neilstown Enterprise Centre, under the Community Enterprise Centre Scheme 2007/09.
The South Dublin County Enterprise Board provides support for small businesses with 10 employees or fewer in the start-up and expansion phases, to develop indigenous micro-enterprise potential and to stimulate economic activity and entrepreneurship at local level. In 2011 the Board paid out €357,682 in grant assistance to 38 microenterprise projects in the county. This year, the Board will continue to be actively involved in economic development in the area and will ensure that available funds are targeted to maximise entrepreneurial development.
Tallaght benefits from being part of Ireland's only Metro City Region and is well equipped to compete for potential foreign direct investment, with superb infrastructure facilities at City West and Grange Castle. Announcements in 2012 include Xilinx and SAP in Citywest, Microsoft in Grange Castle, and Digital Realty Trust in Profile Park, Dublin.
I am confident that the measures outlined in the Action Plan for Jobs, together with the initiatives being pursued by the State Agencies will ensure the creation of employment opportunities for the Tallaght area.