The Government has launched the North East/North West Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at delivering 10 to 15% employment growth in Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth over the coming years.
The Plan is the sixth of eight regional jobs plans to be published over the coming months as part of a new €250m regional jobs strategy.
Since the national Action Plan for Jobs was launched in early 2012 more than 20,000 extra people are at work in the North East/North West (12% growth).
Key sectors targeted as part of the plan include traditionally strong sectors for the region like agri-food, manufacturing/engineering and tourism, as well as areas targeted for future growth like digital payments, cleantech and creative services.
The Plan aims to achieve an increase of at least 25% in the number of start-ups in the region, and a 25% improvement in the survival rate of new businesses.
Cross-border initiatives will also be set up to develop new initiatives, including initiatives to increase drawdown of research and innovation funding, greater use of the border as an opportunity for companies to gain their first foothold in export markets.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Cavan/Monaghan TD Heather Humphreys said: “Since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012 unemployment levels in Cavan and Monaghan have dropped by about 30%. This new, targeted regional Action Plan will help to further drive job creation across the border region with a focus on boosting start-ups, increasing the level of IDA investment and providing better supports for local businesses. This plan will help to ensure that the economic recovery is felt right across this region as more and more people get back to work.”
Minister of State for Business and Employment and Louth/East Meath TD Ged Nash commented: “There is no doubt that this region suffered badly in the economic crash, with unemployment rising to 16.6%. However, due to the strength of this region’s enterprise base and the hard work of its people, it has delivered one of the strongest performances in the country in terms of jobs growth, with employment rising by 12% since the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs initiative was launched in 2012.”