Thursday, 31 January 2019

Ceisteanna (35)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

35. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation when the new regional enterprise plans will be launched; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4441/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

In April 2018, I asked all the Regional Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committees to start a process to refresh and refocus all Regional Plans to ensure their relevance and impact out to 2020.

The refresh and refocus of the Plans will ensure that they remain effective and that they continue to deliver jobs across the country, in every region, and can be robust to address the challenges we face, including Brexit.

The outcomes of this refresh are nine new Regional Enterprise Plans that are focused on a smaller number of Strategic Objectives with timebound actions to 2020.

As a ‘bottom-up’ initiative, the Plans complement national level policies and programmes emanating from the ‘top-down’ and so there is strong alignment with Ireland’s national enterprise policy, Enterprise 2025 Renewed, the forthcoming Future Jobs Ireland initiative and Project Ireland 2040.

The Regional Enterprise Plans are also complementary to the Action Plan for Rural Development and my officials are working closely with the Department of Rural and Community Development in this regard.

I intend to launch the Plans at nine separate regional events over the coming weeks, in the following locations:

Region     

Date     

Venue     

Midlands

6th February

Mountmellick, Laois

Mid-East

7th February

Naas, Kildare

West

11th February

Galway City, Galway

Dublin

14th February (TBC)

Dublin

Mid-West

20th   February

Lisheen, Tipperary

North-West

25th February

Leitrim

North-East

25th February

Cavan

South-West

1st March

Skibbereen, Cork

South-East

22nd March

WIT, Waterford

The Regional Enterprise Plans will support job creation across the regions by facilitating collaborative initiatives between regional stakeholders (both public and private sector) that support the enterprise development potential in each region.

Strategic Objectives for each Plan inter alia encompass such themes as: 

- Skills and talent (complementing the work of the Regional Skills Fora)

- Transition to low-carbon and renewable energy

- Resilience and innovation in the enterprise base

- Co-working and enterprise space

- Sector specific initiatives in engineering, food, tourism, maritime and the creative sector

Effective implementation of these Objectives have the potential to enhance regional employment opportunities and address vulnerabilities in both urban and more rural areas.

The Strategic Objectives and actions in each Regional Enterprise Plan are set out alongside the Enterprise Agencies’ (EI, IDA, LEOs) core activities. So, the Plans both complement and add value to what the Agencies are doing on the ground.

In relation to job creation, the 2020 targets initially set out under the Regional Action Plan for Jobs (2015 – 2017) remain in place – that is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in each region by 2020, with the aim of having the unemployment rate of each region within one percentage point of the State average. 

I also want to ensure that the jobs that are being created are of good quality and sustainable in the longer term, in line with our Future Jobs Ireland objective.

In support of the Regional Plans, in December last, I announced a further twenty-one successful projects under the Regional Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), bringing the total number of projects to 42 and a total allocation of €60 million over two Calls. These collaborative job-creating initiatives aim to sustain and add to employment at a national, regional and county level, and are located in every region of Ireland.