The manufacturing sector in Ireland suffered significant job losses in the period 2003 to 2010. Accordingly, I requested Forfás to undertake a study of the sector. The resultant Strategy - Making it in Ireland: Manufacturing 2020 sets out the actions needed to address various issues, building on the steps already taken by this Government to improve our international competitiveness. Key actions are proposed across a range of areas, including access to new funding, management training and support, costs reduction, technology adoption and the implementation of a National Step Change initiative.
Despite the losses in earlier years, there are now 205,700 people directly employed in manufacturing, and a similar number of people employed indirectly: the total supported within the sector is therefore just over 400,000. In the years 2011 and 2012 there was a net increase of 3,700 jobs in the Manufacturing sector. The Forfás Strategy sets a target to create an additional 20,000 jobs in the sector by 2016.
With regard to the International Financial Services Sector, the Strategy for the International Financial Services Industry in Ireland, published by the Department of the Taoiseach in 2011, calculated that there were 33,000 people employed directly in Ireland in international financial services (i.e. excluding banking and related financial services activity in the domestic sector) at that time. The Strategy sets an objective to increase employment in this sector by 10,000 by 2016 and a range of measures are proposed. Implementation of that Strategy is being driven by the IFSC Clearing House Group, which operates under the aegis of the Department of the Taoiseach.
The IDA continues to pursue the attraction of foreign companies in this sector and the recent announcement by Deutsche Bank that they will establish 700 new jobs in Dublin is evidence of the success of these efforts. Agency supported firms in this sector increased their employment by 1,803 in the two years up to the end of 2012. The Action Plan for Jobs 2012 included a series of actions to address both the Manufacturing and International Financial Services Sectors. By implementing the 2012 and 2013 Action Plans for Jobs and the new 2014 Action Plan for Jobs, to be developed in the New Year, the Government is confident that further growth in employment in both sectors will be achieved.