School Patronage

Questions (90)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

90. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will clarify the position with regard to the ethos of a particular school (details supplied) in County Kildare. [51068/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The school to which the Deputy refers is a non-designated community college under the Patronage of the local Education and Training Board. Non-designated community colleges have a multi-denominational ethos and cater for pupils of all faiths and belief systems. I understand that while the school in question historically had the services of a Catholic chaplain provided by the Archdiocese of Dublin that this has not been the case in recent years.

School Patronage

Questions (91)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

91. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will clarify the process by which a new school was established as a community college rather than as a junior/senior model school; if he will report on the type of school recommended by parents and by an independent report; and the reason a decision was made in advance of publication of this report (details supplied). [51069/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I wish to clarify that the report referred to by the Deputy does not make recommendations regarding the configuration of the schools in question. The report outlines opinions expressed at a series of meetings and also identifies issues for consideration by the schools' patron body. I met with local representatives and parents' representatives from the area concerned earlier this year to hear their views in relation to their suggestion that the schools might be configured on a junior school/senior school basis as opposed to the planned two fully vertical post-primary schools.

I fully considered the views presented to me at the meeting and I also examined all of the factors relevant to the matter. I am confident that the schools can operate successfully as two vertical schools. I consider this to be the optimum configuration for the two schools concerned and indeed the best provision that can be made for the pupils in the area in question.

The existing school in the area, under the patronage of the local Education and Training Board, is very highly regarded locally. The intention of the Education and Training Board is that the new community college would replicate and achieve the high standards and success attained in the existing school. The synergies generated by the new campus environment should be a significant benefit to both schools towards building on the success of the existing school and should assist them both in attaining high standards. The management and governance structures for the Education Campus that have been developed by the Education and Training Board, seek to ensure that the necessary appropriate relationships and close co-operation will exist between the two schools at all levels, from the Principals and the Boards of Management through to the pupils and the staff.

Employment Rights

Questions (92)

Gerald Nash

Question:

92. Deputy Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation when he intends to bring legislation forward on collective bargaining rights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50870/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The Programme for Government contains a commitment to reform the current law on employees' right to engage in collective bargaining (the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2001), so as to ensure compliance by the State with recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. With this in mind, in late 2012 I wrote to relevant stakeholders inviting their observations on the matter. Submissions were subsequently received and a series of initial first step meetings took place between Departmental officials and stakeholders around mid-2013. Discussions with stakeholders are ongoing. I hope to be in a position to bring the matter to Cabinet soon. In this context, I am certain that satisfactory arrangements can be put in place that will reconcile Ireland’s constitutional, social and economic traditions, and international obligations, whilst at the same time ensuring continued success in building Ireland’s domestic jobs-base and in attracting overseas investment into the economy.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (93)

Dara Calleary

Question:

93. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the current operational structure of his Department outlining the management structure but excluding naming of personnel; the responsibilities of each section; the number of persons working in each section; his plans for reforming this structure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50917/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The Organisation Chart circulated with this Reply identifies the operational and management structure of my Department together with the areas of responsibility and the number of staff (in full-time equivalent posts) within each Division of my Department.

The current structure of the Department was put in place after the formation of the Government in 2011. A revised structure will be implemented in 2014 consequent on the integration of Forfás into the Department once the legislation providing for same is enacted.

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Secretary General

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Assistant Secretary

Assistant Secretary

Assistant Secretary

Assistant Secretary

Assistant Secretary

Corporate Services , EU Affairs & Trade Policy

Staff: 222.18*

Competitiveness & Jobs

Staff: 37.58

Labour Affairs

Staff: 290.67**

Innovation & Investment

Staff: 83.63***

Commerce, Consumers & Competition

Staff: 168.61

Personnel/Learning & Dev/Org Units

Competitiveness & Climate Change

Internal Audit

Cross Governmental Science, Technology & Innovation Policy

Competition & Consumer Policy

Management Support/ Business Services Unit

Enterprise Development Unit/

Micro Enterprise Policy

Labour Market/ Chemicals Policy

Health & Safety Liaison

Science Foundation Ireland, EU and International STI & PRTLI

Company Law Policy & Administration and Business Regulation Unit

ICT Unit

SME Policy and State Aid Unit

Employment Rights Policy

Inward Investment & North/South Unit

Company Law Development & Modernisation

Finance Unit

Industrial Relations

Workplace Relations Liaison

Intellectual Property Unit

Cooperative Law & PIAB Liaison

EU Affairs

Internal Market

Employment Permits

Patents Office

Companies Bill Unit

Trade Policy Unit

Licensing Unit

Bilateral Trade

Workplace Relations Reform Project

Companies Registration Office (CRO)

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Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement

*Includes 3 staff assigned to the Irish Mission in Geneva

**Includes staff assigned to the National Employment Rights Authority, Labour Court and Labour Relations Commission, Employment Appeals Tribunal and the Equality Tribunal, which are separate to the above organisational structure, but operate under the aegis of the Department.

***Includes staff assigned to the Patents Office.

Jobs Protection

Questions (94)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

94. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps that he and his Department have taken to secure the employment of persons at a company (details supplied) in County Dublin; if he has or has had discussions with senior executives of the company; the level of engagement the industrial development agency has had with the company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50983/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The decision by the company to commence a process which may lead to the closure of the Lufthansa plant at Rathcoole with the loss of 408 jobs was taken following an extensive review of operations, in the context of declining revenues and shrinking international market opportunities. The company has pointed out that enhanced quality and efficiencies of the new generations of aircraft engines – with reduced need for overhaul – has impacted on their business with fewer engines becoming available for service. There are also complex changes in the dynamics of aircraft maintenance worldwide, which have knock-on impacts in facilities such as those in Ireland.

Lufthansa are fully aware of the productive nature of the Rathcoole site and of its skilled workforce, but the decisions taken – while devastating for the employees and families of those affected – if closure proceeds, are purely commercial and based on wider market conditions. As you will appreciate, the ultimate decision in these cases is made by the parent company, on strictly commercial grounds, and on what is seen by the company as being in the best interests of the group as a whole.

I have met senior executives of the company on three occasions since taking office and IDA have been engaged with them over recent years in an effort to find solutions to the difficult business environment they face. Unfortunately the challenges are very significant. Since the announcement, IDA Ireland has met with company management with a view to creating a profile of the Rathcoole plant, and of the workforce and their skills, for marketing purposes by IDA’s global team. IDA will remain in on-going contact with the companies during the coming months. In addition, I have arranged that Enterprise Ireland will engage with the company to explore whatever other options might be possible, taking into account that Agency’s remit and experience in supporting the Irish-owned engineering sector.

I am conscious of the highly-skilled workforces and have asked IDA to explore the possibility of securing a takeover or buy-out for either company. I want to assure the Deputy that all that can be done by the State’s agencies in an effort to secure a positive result for the employees at both companies is being done and will continue to be done, including any appropriate upskilling of the employees affected.

Job Creation

Questions (95)

Finian McGrath

Question:

95. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his plans to create employment to assist the 1,841 long-term unemployed persons in Coolock, Dublin 17. [50999/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Enterprise Ireland is focussed on job creation and export growth and offers a broad range of supports for entrepreneurs, start-ups and business growth in addition to supporting the work of the CEB/LEOs and other players, public and private, in stimulating job creation at local and national levels. Enterprise Ireland also provides a broad range of supports available to all qualifying applicants – these include Enterprise Start, New Frontiers and Female Entrepreneurs in the entrepreneurship space; Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund support, Competence Centre Programme and Innovation Vouchers in the Innovation Support space; along with the full range of EI supports to industry to support growth in jobs and exports.

With specific reference to the Coolock area, Enterprise Ireland has funded the development of the Coolock Enterprise Centre (Northside Partnership) to the amount of €1,225,012 and has recently funded the appointment of a Business Manager within the Centre, to maximise engagement with local start-up companies.

The County Enterprise Boards (CEBs) throughout the country provide supports, both financial and non-financial or “soft” supports, to all micro-enterprises in the start-up or expansion phase in manufacturing and services, subject to certain conditions. The soft supports include the provision of business advice, mentoring and training to all clients. The aim is to develop indigenous enterprise potential, stimulate economic activity at local level and promote the establishment of micro-enterprises within their administrative area.

Anyone interested in starting or expanding their own business should in the first instance contact their local County and City Enterprise Board (CEB). Contact details for the CEB with responsibility for the Coolock area are available on info@dceb.ie. In Budget 2014, the Government has provided a total of €18.5m for CEBs to support enterprise development, an increase of €3.5m on the Budget 2013 Estimate.

EU Funding

Questions (96, 97)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

96. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the extent to which enterprises here have been in a position to obtain grant aid from the research, innovation and science Commission in the EU in each of the past three years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51084/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

97. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of enterprises here deemed to fall within the category for aid from the EU Commission for research, innovation and science; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51085/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 96 and 97 together.

The primary EU supports for research and innovation are delivered under the EU Seventh Framework Programme (2007-2013), which has a budget of €55 billion over its 7 year timeframe. This programme offers valuable opportunities to researchers and companies based in Ireland to participate in high-quality research collaborations with their European counterparts, with the support of EU funding. All companies, micro, small, medium, large, profit/non-profit making, public-private partnerships and service providers can participate in almost all Framework Programme 7 activities and are actively encouraged to do so.

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish agency responsible for helping Irish companies and researchers to participate in FP7. Due to the nature of the ongoing application, evaluation, award and contract negotiation stages of the FP7 process it is not practicable to give an annual breakdown of the number of enterprises receiving support. In the period from commencement of FP7 in January 2007 to July 2013, over 2000 applications from Irish-based companies took part in FP7 proposals requesting European funding. From these submissions, and through Enterprise Ireland’s facilitation and financial support, over 500 applications have been successful with awards amounting to €149 million accounting for 26% of all funding to Irish researchers from FP7. Ireland’s total drawdown in FP7 (as of July this year for which latest figures are available) currently stands at €572m and we are on course to achieve our national target of €600m from this important source of non-Exchequer funding. It should be noted that funding under FP7 is awarded on a competitive basis.