I launched the new Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 on the 6th February in Mountmellick, Co. Laois. This was the first of nine Regional Enterprise Plans that I launched during February and March of this year. The Plans have emerged from a 'bottom-up' process to refresh and refocus the Regional Action Plan for Jobs (RAPJ) 2015-2017, and the new Plans remain focused on delivering on the employment targets set to 2020 under the original RAPJs.
Implementation of the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 is now underway. The Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan Steering Committee held its first meeting under the new Plan in Westmeath on the 28th March 2019. At that meeting, the Steering Committee approved the formation of a number of Working Groups which will be responsible for the delivery of the specific Strategic Objectives and actions in the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan. The Working Groups have been requested to set out their work plans for 2019 with regard to the steps to be taken in order to implement and achieve the relevant Strategic Objectives and actions that they are aligned to.
These Working Groups will meet as regularly as required and will report back to the Steering Committee on their progress. In turn, the Steering Committee will present, through its Chair, a Progress Report to me at the end of 2019 and 2020. These Progress Reports will be published by my Department.
It will be a matter for the Chair and Committee members to decide on the frequency of meetings however, there will be a minimum of two meetings of the Steering Committee annually for the period of the Plan. In addition, I will meet with the Chairs of all nine Regional Steering Committees collectively later this year to discuss progress on the Plans.