Irish jobs plan aims for regional growth

A scheme that plans to pump €10m into county-level start-ups aims to provide funds for locals to create local jobs.

It comes as the Government has acknowledged that the economic recovery may be unbalanced, with growth bolstering jobs in Dublin, while other regions struggle to catch up.

The incentives will be available through Local Enterprise Offices to encourage communities to back their business hunches.

Two funds will be available. A €5m incentive is aimed at encouraging groups of Local Enterprise Offices to identify worthy projects in their areas.

Another €5m Community Enterprise fund will encourage groups to band together to create jobs.

“The priority of this Government is to spread economic recovery to all parts of Ireland. Supporting local businesses to create jobs is essential to get Ireland working again,” Taoiseach Enda Kenny said at the launch of the schemes in Carlow.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said: “Every region of the country is growing employment, but some regions are growing faster than others, and at the heart of our plan is accelerating that jobs growth in every part of the country.”

Mr Bruton was speaking at the news that a Killarney, Co Kerry-based company was set to expand and create more jobs over the next 18 months.

Tricel, an engineering company formerly called Killarney Plastics, plans to create 40 jobs at its head office, bringing its head count in the town to 140, supported by Enterprise Ireland. It already employs 250 people in Ireland, UK and France.

The company makes water storage tanks and waste-water systems and manufactures moulded products for the car industry.

Tricel managing director Mike Stack said the slump in the construction industry in Ireland had led it to expand in Britain and to chase new export markets on the continent too, opening manufacturing facilities in England and France.

“We bucked the trend and backed ourselves by making a multi-million euro investment in R&D and plant and machinery,” Mr Stack said.

The Government says that its new local incentives will be awarded on the basis that the projects “demonstrate innovative solutions” to creating jobs. The projects are not designed to fund existing programmes or schemes.

Proposed projects would bid for funding on the basis that they improve procurement processes through training in very small businesses; encouraging networking; and promoting entrepreneurship.

They are part of initiatives valued at €250m to encourage jobs across the regions.


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