The Border region (including Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan) has shown very good progress in employment levels since the launch of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017. From Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q4 2018, a total of 8,200 more people are now in employment. Unemployment has more than halved in the Border region falling from 8.6 percent to 3.8 percent during this period.
Unemployment has reduced from 4.8 percent down to 3.8 percent over the last 12 months and the Border region has now the lowest unemployment rate amongst all of the regions nationally.
The Enterprise Agencies have reported good progress on new employment creation in client companies during 2018 in the Border region. In the North-West (Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim), IDA supported employment was up 3 percent, while Enterprise Ireland supported employment was up 9 percent. There was also a net job gain of 260 in the North-West in LEO supported companies. In the North-East (including Cavan, Monaghan and Louth) IDA supported employment was up 3 percent, while Enterprise Ireland supported employment was also up 3 percent. There was also a net job gain of 378 in the companies supported by the three North-East LEOs.
The West region (Galway, Mayo and Roscommon) has shown excellent progress in employment growth since the launch of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017. From Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q4 2018, a total of 32,800 more people are in employment in the West region. From Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q4 2018, unemployment has more than halved in the West region, falling from 12.6 percent to 5.8 percent.
The Enterprise Agencies have also reported good progress on new employment creation in client companies in the West over the past year. During 2018, IDA supported employment grew by 6 percent, while Enterprise Ireland supported employment was up 5 percent. There was also a net job gain of 321 in LEO supported companies located in the West region.
The Government remains committed to achieving an overall jobs uplift of between 10 and 15 per cent in each region by 2020 and to bring and/or maintain unemployment levels in each region to within at least one percentage point of the State average.
To that end, in April 2018, I am in the process of launching nine new Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 (including Plans for the West, North-West and North-East incl. Co. Louth), which build on the very strong progress made on employment creation under the Regional Action Plan for Jobs 2015-2017.
Shaped from the ‘bottom-up’ by regional stakeholders, and overseen by my Department, the new Regional Enterprise Plans to 2020 complement national level policies and programmes emanating from the ‘top-down’ and, there is strong alignment with Ireland’s national enterprise policy, Enterprise 2025 Renewed and the forthcoming Future Jobs Ireland initiative.
The principle behind the Regional Enterprise Plans is collaboration between regional stakeholders on initiatives that can help to realise the region’s enterprise development potential so that all regions can meet and exceed the regional job creation targets set to 2020. These stakeholders include: local authorities, the LEOs, the enterprise agencies, the Regional Skills Forum, tourism bodies, private sector ‘enterprise champions’, and others.
The Regional Enterprise Plans are also about creating jobs that are of good quality and sustainable over the longer term. The Government is focused on this agenda at the national level through the Future Jobs Ireland initiative, and is focused on this agenda through these new Regional Enterprise Plans.