Croke Park Agreement Issues

Ceisteanna (122)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

122. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the Retired Nurses Association of Ireland Representation at the Croke Park 2 talks (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18196/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The discussions which led to proposals from the Labour Relations Commission for a draft Public Service Agreement were between public service management and the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, as representative of public service staff. In addition, a parallel process involved the staff representative associations of the Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána. The objective of these discussions was to secure agreement on measures to deliver savings of €1bn in the pay and pensions bill by 2016 which would build on the original framework of the Public Service Agreement.

The parties to the discussions were those that were comprehended under the framework of the original Public Service Agreement 2010-2014.

Shannon Development Companies

Ceisteanna (123)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

123. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will intervene to ensure a satisfactory management model for Kerry Technology Park, Tralee; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18005/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

Kerry Technology Park, Tralee, Co Kerry is currently owned and managed by Shannon Development, in collaboration with Tralee Institute of Technology. Shannon Development, in conjunction with a number of other public and private sector organisations and individuals, provides programmes that benefit the Park and the wider community, namely the Young Entrepreneur Programme (YEP) and the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP).

The Young Entrepreneur Programme (YEP) and the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) are currently controlled by Nurture Entrepreneurs Ltd, an independent not-for-profit company. Both the YEP and JEP are funded from a combination of public and private sources.

Following discussions between my Department, Shannon Development and other departments and agencies about the future plans for Kerry Technology Park, including the Youth Entrepreneur Programmes run from the Park, a range of proposals for the future management of the Park are being formulated. I will present these to Government for consideration over the coming weeks.

Jobs Protection

Ceisteanna (124, 125, 126)

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

124. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps taken by his Department, or relevant State agency, to safeguard the jobs and production at the Diageo site in County Waterford. [18017/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

125. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the total investment of public moneys in the Diageo site in County Waterford; and if he will confirm if any claw back clauses will be enacted if the site is closed. [18018/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

126. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the steps taken by his Department, or relevant State agency to promote the Diageo site in County Waterford for future investment if the company ends production at the site. [18019/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 124 to 126, inclusive, together.

I understand from Enterprise Ireland that the Waterford brewery will close at the end of this year with the loss of 21 jobs and that they are working with Diageo in terms of finding a replacement industry for the site. In this respect, I understand that a number of potential investments are being actively considered and I am hopeful that any new investment will safeguard employment at the site.

I am very conscious of the concern that the proposed job losses will create for the workers involved and the local community. It is very important that the impact of the site’s closure on employment in Waterford is minimised and the State enterprise agencies will make every effort that they can to develop new employment opportunities for Waterford and to support the retention of existing jobs there.

Diageo Waterford received one grant package from Enterprise Ireland for capital equipment, totalling €800,000 which was approved in 2002. There is no grant liability and no claw-back clauses relating to this grant.

Enterprise Support Services Provision

Ceisteanna (127)

Finian McGrath

Ceist:

127. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views on the attached submission regarding SIABH. [18198/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

I thank the Deputy for bringing this business idea to my attention. My Department has already had contact with the Deputy's correspondent. Enterprise Ireland has a broad system of financial and non-financial supports in place to assist clients through all stages of the business development cycle. My Department has provided the Deputy's correspondent in this matter with the contact details of the relevant Development Adviser in Enterprise Ireland who is available to discuss his proposal with him and who can provide him with details of the supports available from Enterprise Ireland to entrepreneurs and early stage companies that have an innovative product, service or technology, and have the potential to achieve exports sales and create employment. These supports include:

Pre Investment Supports for High Potential Start-Ups (HPSUs)

New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme This national incubation programme offers successful applicants a package of supports to help accelerate their business development and to equip them with the skills to successfully start and grow a company.

HPSU Feasibility Grant Used to investigate the viability and potential of an innovative/high potential start-up and the development of an Investor Ready Business Plan.

Innovative HPSU Fund (Equity) The Innovative HPSU Fund allows Enterprise Ireland to offer equity investment to HPSU clients, on a co-funded basis to support the implementation of company business plans. First time and follow-on equity investments in HPSUs are supported under this offer.

Mentor Grant Used to support the cost of a Mentor Assignment. Enterprise Ireland can match an entrepreneur with an experienced business mentor to assist the start-up phase or advise on specific areas of a company development plan.

Innovation Voucher Innovation Vouchers, worth €5,000, are available to assist a company to work with a registered college or knowledge provider to explore a business opportunity or technical problem.

Internet Growth Acceleration Programme (iGAP) A 6 month intensive management development programme aimed exclusively at high potential internet/games companies.

As I outlined previously, funding from the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) would be suitable for small start-up enterprises, such as those linked with the SIABH hub proposal. Eligible clients may qualify for a Priming Grant, which is a business start-up grant that is available to micro enterprises within the first 18 months of start-up. The grants are subject to certain criteria, such as commercial viability, avoidance of displacement of jobs elsewhere in the economy, creation of sustainable employment, etc. The typical Priming Grant payable is 50% of the investment or €80,000, whichever is the lesser, although funding of up to €150,000 may be provided in exceptional circumstances. Students wishing to engage with the local enterprise board following graduation may wish to note that the contact person for Dublin CEB is Greg Swift, CEO, 5th Floor, O'Connell Bridge House, Dublin 2, tel: 01-635 1144, email: gswift@dceb.ie, website: www.dceb.ie, although contact details for all CEBs are available on www.enterpriseboards.ie."

It is a requirement of all approved applications that matching funding is available from the applicant for investment in the venture. This requirement for matching funding is a proven technique in stimulating change, in that the commitment of entrepreneurs to development projects is significantly increased by virtue of the promoter having a financial interest in the success of the business. In this regard, the availability of the Microenterprise Loan Fund might be of benefit to Mr Bell’s students in overcoming this condition.

The Microenterprise Loan Fund was launched on the 27 September 2012 to improve access to credit for entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises and to facilitate the growth and expansion of viable businesses from all industry sectors which have been refused access to credit by banks.

The Fund provides support in the form of loans of up to €25,000, available to start-up, newly established, or growing microenterprises employing less than 10 people, with viable business propositions, that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by banks. The potential viability of the business proposal will be the dominant factor in all credit decisions.

Generally loans will be provided for business start-up costs, expansions costs and working capital. Due to its focus on job creation and the benefits this creates, the new Microenterprise Loan Fund will have a greater risk appetite than Banks could possibly have and therefore will be able to fund and help create and sustain additional micro-enterprises which cannot satisfy conventional Bank credit criteria.

Further information on the Scheme is available at www.microfinanceireland.ie and by telephone on 01-2601007.

Job Creation Data

Ceisteanna (128)

Finian McGrath

Ceist:

128. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs as a direct result of foreign direct investment and the number of jobs from indigenous industries for the years 2007 - 2012. [18201/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

The Forfás Annual Employment Survey reports on job gains and losses in companies that are supported by the enterprise development agencies. Details of total employment and the number of new jobs created in IDA and Enterprise Ireland client companies in each year from 2007 to 2012 are set out in the following tabular statements.

I am delighted to say that 2012 was a particularly good year for job creation in Agency supported companies, with IDA client companies creating a total of 12,722 gross new full time jobs (6,750 net new jobs). The IDA client base in Ireland now employs 152,785 people, a level last recorded before the global financial crisis began in 2008. Clients of Enterprise Ireland created 12,861 gross new jobs (3,338 net new jobs- the highest net gain for Irish companies since 2006).

Table showing Total Employment in IDA and Enterprise Ireland

Client Companies in each of the years from 2007 to 2012

Employment Data

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Total Employment (IDA)

156,308

152,910

138,654

140,281

146,215

152,785

Total Employment (EI)

185,030

179,191

161,806

159,808

166,359

169,451

Table showing the number of new jobs created in IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland Client Companies in each of the years from 2007 to 2012

Employment Data

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

New Jobs Created (IDA)

9,372

6,766

3,582

12,178

13,381

12,722

New Jobs Created (EI)

17,412

13,191

8,888

10,987

14,023

12,861

Industrial Relations

Ceisteanna (129)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

129. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views on the attached submission regarding threatened redundancies (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18209/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

I understand that the issues in dispute are currently before the industrial relations machinery of the State. The system of industrial relations in Ireland is designed to help and support parties in their efforts to resolve their differences, rather than imposing a solution on the parties to an industrial dispute.

The Labour Relations Commission provides a free conciliation service, in which a trained facilitator assists employers and workers to resolve disputes when their own unassisted efforts have not succeeded. The Labour Court acts as an industrial relations tribunal to provide a free, comprehensive service for the resolution of industrial relations disputes, where the parties to a dispute have been unable to reach agreement. Since the Labour Court is a court of last resort in the industrial relations process, it is expected that the parties come to the process in good faith and, consequently, are prepared to accept the outcome of the process, namely, the Labour Court recommendation.

Responsibility for the settlement of this dispute rests, ultimately, with the parties themselves. The obligation lies with the parties to seek to resolve their differences and to carry their efforts through to completion. Continued engagement with the State's industrial relations machinery offers, in my view, the best way whereby the parties involved in this dispute can hope to resolve their differences.

In addition to the industrial relations process, there exists a body of legislation to protect workers in redundancy situations such as the Protection of Employment Act, the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act, the Payment of Wages Act and the Redundancy Payments Acts. In particular, the Protection of Employment Act 1977 provides for a mandatory consultation process between the employer and the employee representatives and the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Act 1973 guarantees minimum notice of redundancy, or compensation in lieu of notice, to employees.

Information on employment rights is available from the National Employment Rights Authority: either from its website www.employmentrights.ie or by contacting an Information Officer directly at 1890 80 80 90.

Policy matters relating to Fáilte Ireland are a matter for my colleague Mr Leo Varadakar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, while issues regarding the day-to-day operations of a public body should be directed to the Chief Executive of the relevant body.