VIDEO: 40k Cork and Kerry jobs in 5 years ‘achievable’

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton says he is confident an ambitious Government target of creating 40,000 jobs in Cork and Kerry by 2020 is achievable.

Mr Bruton was speaking in Cork yesterday at the launch of the Government’s South West Action Plan for Jobs — the second of eight regional jobs plans to be published as part of a new €250m national strategy to accelerate regional job creation.

Employment in the south- west declined by 45,600, or 15%, during the crash.

However, Mr Bruton said that since the National Action Plan for Jobs was launched early in 2012, job numbers in the region have increased by 11,200, or 4%.

The plan launched yesterday targets employment growth of 10%-15% over and above current employment levels, which would represent between 27,780 and 41,670 additional jobs in the region by 2020.

Mr Bruton said based on all the evidence and the strong buy-in for the process so far, the 40,000 job target is realistic.

“Jobs are growing right across the country, but they are growing faster in some regions than in others.

“The south-west is a region with huge potential for job-creation, with an excellent base of exporting companies, strong sectors and a tradition of collaboration between education institutions and businesses.

“It has performed well in recent years, with over 11,000 extra jobs created since we launched the national Action Plan for Jobs, but it has potential to deliver so much more,” he said. “That is why we are putting in place this highly ambitious plan to dramatically accelerate job-creation in the region.”

The regional plan targets agri-food, tourism, life sciences, manufacturing, and ICT, as well as high- potential emerging sectors like multimedia/content and the green economy, energy and marine. The plan has more than 200 specific actions, including:

  • A 40%-50% increase in the number of start-up businesses, delivered through measures including more co-working space and mentoring for entrepreneurs and new funding through competitive calls;
  • A 20% increase in employment in exporting companies, delivered by adding 30%-40% to the number of IDA investments achieved;
  • Building an IDA advance facility in Tralee;
  • A 50% increase in enterprise-research collaborations;
  • Doubling the level of workforce training and development activity, delivered by progressing the Munster Technological University project;
  • Establishing an Employer and Education Skills Forum, and doubling apprenticeships enrolment;
  • A 40% increase in agri-food output to 2020, including developing the region as an international centre of excellence in areas like agri- engineering, agri-food, seafood production, and food product development;
  • A 33% increase in overseas tourist numbers and a 40% increase in overseas revenue from the sector.

The plan also envisages a creative hub for the content/multimedia sector.


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