Minister of State Pat Breen, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Minister of State John Halligan at the Action Plan for Jobs 2017 launch
Taoiseach Enda Kenny together with Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor today launched the Action Plan for Jobs 2017 at the offices of NDRC.
The target is to support the creation of 200,000 net additional jobs by 2020. There are nearly 190,000 more people employed now compared to when the first Action Plan was launched in 2012, surpassing the original target of an additional 100,000 jobs by 2016.
A significant consideration in drawing up the Action Plan for 2017 was Brexit and the changing global trading environment. This year’s plan is at the core of the government’s response to the huge challenge these pose for.
The APJ 2017 is the first opportunity to set out a Whole of Government response to the volatility in the international trading environment.
In addition to Brexit, there are specific actions on:
- An Export Finance Initiative, working with the Department of Finance/SBCI to roll out new support to export orientated SMEs, with a pilot in 2017
- Innovation 2020 – targets include €600 million in new RDI investment by FDI enterprises. EI to support 100 significant RDI projects and support for 850 enterprise-led collaborative projects
- Workplace Innovation, with a toolkit to be launched for employers and employees to engage in workplace innovation and a pilot programme roll-out
- Retail Support Programme with training developed to support retailers to scale up their online trading activity and expand into international markets
- Launch of a Design4Growth initiative in regions
- Launch of a competitive Start Fund for female entrepreneurs
- Development of a whole of Government approach to realise opportunities in the digital economy across all sectors, including a stakeholder summit in Q1
- A combination of measures to support senior entrepreneurship, get women back to work and for long term unemployed
- A ‘Think Small First’ SME test for new regulations to reduce red tape.
Speaking at today’s launch, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said:
We need to build our trading resilience and we will help our ambitious enterprises diversify their markets, with a significant increase in Ministerial-led trade missions in 2017. We will remain vigilant to external changes with potentially significant implications for our economic well-being, and we will be agile in anticipating and responding to them.
Jobs Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor said:
This year’s Action Plan has never been more important, with Brexit and other challenges in our external trading environment. I am convinced that the effective delivery of the Action Plan can support the creation by business in all sectors and regions of an additional 45,000 jobs in 2017, towards our target of achieving full employment and an extra 200,000 at work by 2020. The Action Plans for Jobs have proved hugely successful and the whole-of-Government approach adopted has supported the creation of an average 40,000 jobs each year since the Plan was introduced.
According to CSO figures announced on Tuesday, the monthly unemployment figure for January 2017 is down to 7.1% from 8.5% in January 2016, the lowest since 2008. Employment is up by an average 10.6% across the country and over 2 million people are now at work.
Download the Action Plan for Jobs 2017 here.