The Government has launched the Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs, aimed at delivering 10 to 15% employment growth in the region by 2020.
The plan is the fourth of eight regional jobs plans to be published as part of a new €250m regional jobs strategy led by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.
Unemployment has now fallen from 16% when the first national Action Plan was launched to 11.2% this year. Numbers in work have started to steadily increase, with agency lead jobs growing by 9% between 2011 and 2014.
The plan aims to increase the number of start-ups in the region through targeted initiatives and programmes to support enterprise.
It is also hoped the plan will lead to an increase employment in the existing base of companies by strengthening their capacity to scale up their business and win new markets.
Over the next five years, the IDA is aiming for a 30% to 40% uplift in projects, to a total of 66 investments within the region plus delivers on an new IDA Advance Technology building in Limerick in 2017.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD hopes that, based on all the evidence and the strong buy-in for the process up to this point, it is realistic to target 23,000 additional jobs in the region by 2020.
Bruton said: “The Mid-West suffered more than others during the crisis. Since the crisis began the region lost almost 25,000 jobs. It is only in the last couple of years that the tide has been turned with more than 4,000 new jobs added in the last year alone. This fuels our strong conviction that a region with as many strengths as the Mid-West can, and will, grow more jobs. I am convinced that with the right support from Government through the Mid-West Plan, and by continuing the collaborative approach right across the region, we can deliver 23,000 extra jobs over the coming years. This would be 23,000 extra pay packets coming into communities and 23,000 lives back on track and get us back to a level of employment in the region ahead of that which existed at the end of 2007.”
Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance, said: “Every job created puts money back in people’s pockets. The Mid-West region is a strong region with great potential and the Government’s is fully committed to continue to create the right environment for jobs growth.”