Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ceisteanna (108)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

108. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the extent to which job creation throughout County Kildare tends to be specifically targeted at areas of higher than average unemployment and youth unemployment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51096/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

I believe that the policies being pursued by my Department are making a positive impact in supporting enterprises and job creation. Despite international and domestic difficulties, there has been an annual increase of 3.2% in employment of 58,000 people. Unemployment has fallen from 13.6% to 12.8%, and youth unemployment has decreased from 31.1% to 26.5% over the year to September 2013.

The Government is committed to addressing the problem of employment, and in particular, youth unemployment. Our primary strategy is to create the environment for economic recovery through competitiveness, enterprise and job creation through the Action Plan for Jobs. In addition, the Government recognises the need for measures to support the unemployed and keep jobseekers close to the labour market. In this context, the major elements of the Government’s response are set out in Pathways to Work, which is aimed at ensuring that as many as possible of the job vacancies that are created as the economy recovers are filled by people from the Live Register - with a particular focus on those who are long-term unemployed or at risk of long-term unemployment.

Pathways to Work programmes such as JobBridge, Springboard, Momentum, JobsPlus and the ICT Action Plan, are delivered by the Departments of Social Protection and Education and Skills. The Department of Social Protection is also working with relevant Departments, including my own, to produce a concrete plan for implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Ireland, for consideration by the Government before being transmitted to the European Commission by the end of the year.

My Department is also keen to support young entrepreneurs and, in this context, current initiatives such as Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund and New Frontiers Programme, along with the Microenterprise Loan Fund, all contribute to supporting young entrepreneurs. In 2014, the CEBs will also place a focus on supporting entrepreneurship among young people.

More than 48,000 jobs will be created in 2014 through supports from my Department as a result of the measures announced in Budget 2014. Some of the specific measures announced include:

- A package of new initiatives to support start-ups and growing businesses, including Start Your Own Business Scheme – a 2-year income tax exemption for long-term unemployed people who start their own business,

- A total of €18.5m for CEBs to support enterprise development, an increase of €3.5m on the Budget 2013 Estimate.

- Continued provision for a total of over €2billion in non-bank credit schemes for business.

In 2012, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the County Enterprise Boards companies had their best performance in many years, with the agencies’ clients creating just over 30,000 new jobs between them last year. The services and supports of these Agencies are available to both indigenous and FDI companies throughout County Kildare.

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 Kildare CEB are available on http://www.kildareceb.ie/.

Tables 1 to 3 below provide information in relation to County Kildare on IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Kildare CEB activities.

Table 1: IDA Ireland – Jobs created

County

Employment Data

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Kildare

Jobs Created

113

30

1,228

398

176

Table 2: Enterprise Ireland Jobs created

County

Job Data

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Kildare

Jobs Created

351

476

295

1,082

534

Table 3: CEB Employment Statistics 2011 and 2012

-

-

2012

-

2011

CEB

Full Time Gains

Other Time Gains

Full Time Gains

Other Time Gains

Kildare

133

77

106

135