Up to 25,000 jobs could be created in the southeast region over the coming years under a new employment action plan, according to the Government.
Minister for Jobs and Enterprise Richard Bruton launched the plan on Monday after announcing a total of 376 jobs in Clonmel, Waterford and Kilkenny.
The regional strategy is part of a €250m employment plan across all eight regions and aims to deliver employment growth of 10%-15%, mainly in the agri-food, tourism, life sciences, manufacturing, retail, and financial services sectors.
The southeast region was hit particularly badly by job losses in recent years and the Government’s regional strategy was developed following the closure of the TalkTalk call centre in Waterford city in 2011, when more than 500 people lost their jobs.
Among the jobs announcements made yesterday were 200 positions at a new call centre in Clonmel being developed by EishTech, a company which was established by former TalkTalk employees and which now employs more than 1,000 people in Waterford, Wexford, and Craigavon.
Meanwhile, 36 jobs are to be created by information securities provider CipherTechs in Kilkenny and another 40 jobs in Waterford by Bluefin Payment Systems at a new technology and operations centre.
The new action plan for the southeast, the third of eight to be developed for the regions, aims to increase the number of new businesses in the region by 30% by 2017 through measures such as mentoring, incubation spaces, and support from local enterprise offices.
It also wants a 30%-40% increase in multinational investment by 2019, by providing three new advance accommodation facilities, a campaign to encourage Dublin-based multinationals to establish bases in the southeast and marketing the region as a good place to work and live.
The Government hopes to develop “a cluster” of advanced manufacturing and 3D printing companies in the southeast and achieve an 85% increase in food exports over the next decade.
There will be measures, according to the plan, to deliver 300,000 extra tourists and 5,000 new jobs in the tourism sector while each main town centre in the region is to have a retail strategy.
Launching the plan, Mr Bruton said job creation is taking place faster in some regions than others.
“That is why we have put in place the €250m regional jobs strategy, to support regions to play to their strengths and accelerate jobs growth in every area,” he said. “The southeast is a region which has faced major, historic unemployment problems, but which in the past three years has started to really bounce back and now has the fastest rate of jobs growth of all of the eight regions in the country.”
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin said it is vital that every region benefits from the growing economy.
“The creation of new jobs has been made possible through ongoing prudent management of our finances as we recover from the past number of years and our ongoing commitment to getting people back to work in all regions,” he said.
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