Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (78)

Tom Fleming

Question:

78. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will request the Industrial Development Agency to prioritise County Kerry for jobs investment in view of the fact that the county lost Objective 1 status in 1998 and the fact that the three nearest counties have fared exceptionally better with site visits; if he will request the IDA to give the county the jobs boost it so urgently requires; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56060/12]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

IDA Ireland has assured me that, through its network of overseas offices, it continues to market the linked hub locations of Killarney in South Kerry and Tralee in North Kerry for new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). As part of this marketing campaign the Agency markets all available land and buildings in the County. Based on the strengths of the region, IDA Ireland is targeting, in particular, the ICT, International Financial Services and Globally Traded Business sectors. In addition, IDA Ireland is working closely with educational institutions and FÁS to develop the skill sets necessary to attract high value added employment to the county.

As Ireland competes for investments at the highest end of the value chain the concept of scale is crucial. Leading corporations require significant population pools of highly qualified talent, appropriate physical and digital infrastructure and the availability of sophisticated professional and support services. In order to meet this challenge IDA focuses on marketing the Gateway locations within each region. With continuing enhancement and improvements in physical and digital infrastructure, an FDI project secured for one Gateway Economic Region has a positive impact on other Gateway Economic Regions and their surrounding areas. The recent Northern Trust announcement in Limerick, creating some 400 jobs, will have a positive economic impact directly and indirectly on County Kerry.

At the end of 2011 there were 12 IDA Ireland supported companies in Kerry employing approximately 1,300 permanent staff. Whilst IDA Ireland seeks to influence the selection of a location by potential investors, the final decision on where to locate is taken in all cases by the investor.