Employment creation is a priority for Government. All job creation initiatives are set out in the Action Plan for Jobs 2012. This is a multi-annual process which has the objective of supporting the creation of 100,000 new jobs in the economy by 2016 and making Ireland the best small country in which to do business.
The Action Plan is a whole of Government approach with a national focus across all regions and contains a comprehensive range of job creation initiatives. These include legislation to reform statutory wage setting mechanisms, a reduction or freezing of charges levied on business by Government across a large range of Government Departments and agencies, the enactment of the Legal Service Bill which will place downward pressure on insurance costs, the €90m Microenterprise Loan Fund Scheme, the €450m Credit Guarantee Scheme, the €120m second call under Innovation Fund Ireland and the €150m Development Capital Scheme. The combined effect of initiatives such as these is to sustain existing jobs and to create new ones.
The Enterprise Development agencies are at the forefront of implementing the Action Plan for Jobs and continue to ensure that enterprises can maximise their contribution to economic recovery and jobs growth. In 2012, 6,570 net new jobs were created in IDA Ireland client companies and 2012 was the agency’s third consecutive year of growth in net employment. IDA’s client base now employs 152,785 people, a level last recorded before the global financial crisis began in 2008. 2012 saw the creation of 3,338 net new jobs in companies supported by Enterprise Ireland (EI), the highest net new jobs figure since 2006. The County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) created 417 net new jobs in 2012.
The Government published on 1 February 2013, the fourth and final quarterly progress report under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012. This Report shows that 249 - or 92% - out of the 270 measures committed to be implemented in 2012 by all 15 Government Departments and 36 Agencies under the Action Plan for Jobs, have been delivered.
I am currently finalising the Action Plan for Jobs 2013, which will be published in the coming days.