Richard Guiney, Dublin City BID; Paul Carroll, Department of Social Protection; Tánaiste Joan Burton; Richie Boucher, Bank of Ireland; former job-bridge intern Stephen Kirwan.
Tánaiste Joan Burton and her departmental officials met with members of Dublin City’s Business Improvement District (BID) to discuss grants and supports available from the Department of Social Protection to encourage the recruitment of additional staff today in House of Lords, Bank of Ireland, on College Green.
Over 100 businesses, large and small were introduced to the opportunities available to them as the country sees the early but encouraging signs of economic improvement.
Speaking at the event, the Tánaiste said: “The Government is committed to strengthening the domestic economy and job creation remains our top priority, but with a renewed emphasis on making work pay for ordinary workers. We aim to restore the country to full employment by 2020 and we need your help to do it. Every time you create a job you help us take one more step towards a sustained economic recovery.”
After a period of protracted recession, some businesses are looking to increase their workforce for the first time in a number of years. However, after the recent turbulent times many are cautious about taking this important step. The grants and supports provided by the Department of Social Protection are a welcome initiative to boost employment and by providing real financial incentives, the Department is making the decision to re-engage staff that little bit easier.
The Department of Social Protection’s range of employer incentives include financial supports such as the JobsPlus scheme; employment initiatives such as JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme; and workplace supports to assist with the recruitment of employees with disabilities. Through JobsPlus, regular cash payments are made to employers to offset wage costs where they employ people who have been on the Live Register for more than 12 months. JobsPlus offers a grant of €7,500 paid over two years to an employer who hires a jobseeker who has been unemployed for 12 months or more. The grant increases to €10,000 if the jobseeker has been more than two years unemployed. Since JobsPlus was launched in July 2013, it has helped to support more than 2,630 full-time jobs with 2,007 employers.
The Department of Social Protection can also provide job-ready candidates to help employers fill vacancies, and through the Department’s employment website employers advertised over 106,000 job opportunities nationally during 2013. These services are provided at no cost to employers.
Speaking in advance of the event, Dublin BID’s chief executive officer, Richard Guiney, said: “These supports are very welcome at a time when we are experiencing a cautious optimism about the future amongst city centre businesses. It is still too early to say that we are out of woods yet but there are encouraging signs beginning to emerge. The financial supports available from the Department of Social Protection are real and substantial and may be just enough to encourage businesses to make the decision to begin the recruitment process again. We are delighted that the Tánaiste is taking time out of her busy schedule to meet city centre businesses to explain the available options to them in person. We would also like to thank Bank of Ireland for hosting this important event for Dublin city businesses.”
Gabriel Bannigan, regional manager (Dublin), Bank of Ireland added: “Bank of Ireland is delighted to work with Dublin City BID, and to welcome Tánaiste Burton and her officials to this important event. For more than 200 years Bank of Ireland has had a significant presence in Dublin City, including working from College Green which we understand is the oldest continuous bank branch in the world. Today, our teams are working with business in all parts of Dublin City, and across Ireland, to help them realise their ambitions. Bank of Ireland is providing over 50% of business lending in the market, and growing businesses will support growing employment – the topic of this important event.”