Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Questions (35)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

35. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the actions of his Department or agencies to meet with emigrants and encourage them to return to work. [33501/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

At a macro level the Government’s strategy is to re-build the economy and accelerate the transition to a sustainable, jobs-rich economy based on enterprise, innovation and exports. It is in this way that we will create the environment in which sustainable jobs will be created, living standards will be raised and Ireland will be regarded as an attractive location in which to live and work.

More specifically, engaging with the Diaspora to strengthen and form new relationships is a particular Government priority underpinned by the Global Irish Economic Forum. For example, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland’s Senior Management team are focusing on the roll-out of a number of joint initiatives, including marketing and events aimed at attracting entrepreneurs and start-ups to Ireland, and ongoing engagement with Irish emigrants through the Global Irish Network.IDA Ireland engages with the Irish Diaspora working in multinational companies in its role to attract new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Ireland and to build on the existing FDI base to support Irish management to win new business. The ability of the investor to source the very best quality people, with appropriate levels of training and experience, is a prime consideration and a real location differentiator. Attracting skilled Irish emigrants back to Ireland is an important component in creating this skill base. The “Succeed in Ireland” initiative to attract greater numbers of inward investors to Ireland provides direct financial incentives to people around the world to create employment in Ireland by rewarding people responsible for bringing sustainable jobs to Ireland.

Enterprise Ireland (EI) also plays a significant role in forging linkages with Ireland’s Diaspora. Under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012, EI initiatives included the establishment of a €10m International Start-up Fund and a targeted marketing campaign making greater use of existing networks in the IDA and the wider Diaspora. In 2012, twelve overseas entrepreneurs were supported by Enterprise Ireland to establish their companies here. This campaign is continuing in 2013. Enterprise Ireland is also involved in the establishment of a website www.itshappeninghere.ie which features opportunities in Irish SMEs in the ICT sector and allows our Diaspora a full view of the potential opportunities for employment and advancement.

The Government recognises that there has been an increase in emigration, particularly amongst young people, since the start of the recession. However, the CSO data also indicates that significant numbers of Irish migrants have been returning to the country since 2008. For example, 20,600 Irish people returned to Ireland in 2012. These are people who had previously emigrated seeking work, and many of them are coming home having gained skills and expertise abroad that we can now capture to strengthen the operation and management of companies based here.

While there will always be people who choose to emigrate for personal or professional reasons, the Government’s aim is that, by continuing the process of transforming our economy step by step through the Action Plan for Jobs, we can provide opportunities for employment in Ireland.