Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Questions (50)

Thomas P. Broughan


50. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance if he will report on his revised strategy for the development of international financial services here; the reason he is halving previously indicated levels of new job creation in the sector between 2020 and 2025; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25230/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The employment target in Ireland for Finance is to reach 50,000 people in direct employment in the sector by 2025. That is a net increase of 5,000 above the target employment level set for the previous strategy, IFS2020. The targeted increase in employment set out in IFS2020 was 10,000.

The target of an increase of 5,000 people in employment in international financial services reflects two key factors.

First, Ireland is at a different position in the economic cycle and, with the country close to full employment, setting jobs targets is somewhat contradictory.

Second, and more importantly, the impacts of technology on the employment in the financial services sector are also potentially transformative and this will put existing employment figures under considerable pressure. The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs reported that financial services is one of two sectors in the Irish economy which is not expected to employ more people in 2023 than in it did 2018.

While Ireland for Finance has an overall target for employment growth, it is also important that the strategy sets the aim of seeking to ensure that the posts located in Ireland will be high quality, well paid, and ‘sticky’ – that is, less likely to be outsourced or easily transferable. Higher value posts are also less likely to be affected by increased levels of automation in the sector.

A number of additional indicators of success have been selected to run concurrently with the jobs target. These include: trends in employment in international financial services; regional growth; new and specialised sub-sectors; high-level posts that will reflect a move up the value chain; the breadth of skills and sub-sectors; and the depth of specialised financial services available in Ireland.