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What is Action Plan for Jobs?

The Action Plan for Jobs is the Government’s plan to improve the conditions for creating new jobs. It is a whole-of-Government initiative under which all Government Departments and 60 Agencies work together to support job creation and protection, and is a sister document to Pathways to Work.

An Action Plan is published every year, setting out clear actions and targets to help create positive conditions for job creation. The main strategic ambitions of the Action Plan for Jobs are:

  • To support 200,000 net additional jobs by 2020
  • To get Ireland back to a top-five ranking in international competitiveness 
  • To build world-class clusters in key sectors 
  • To build an indigenous engine of growth that drives up the export market share of Irish companies 
  • To stimulate the domestic economy and generate employment in locally traded sectors

The development of the Plan is led by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation each year. Each action is broken down into a range of measures which are carefully scoped and scheduled for delivery within the year. Each action has a quarterly delivery date and a lead Department or Agency responsible for ensuring it is carried out. Since 2012, each annual Action Plan for Jobs builds on the progress made in previous plans.

Progress is monitored on a quarterly basis to ensure delivery by Department of the Taoiseach, and each quarter the Government publishes details on the measures completed on time and measures that are delayed.

Click here to view quarterly reports.

Disruptive reforms

In 2013, the Government identified a number of cross-Departmental initiatives which they believed could have a particularly significant impact on job creation. They are more ambitious in nature and have aggressive timescales in which they will be delivered. Due to the nature of these areas, the Industry Partners, a group of private sector business leaders appointed to the Action Plan for Jobs process, help with the Disruptive Reforms. More information about the Industry Partners below. 

Useful numbers about Action Plan for Jobs

  • Over 135,000 more people are at work since the launch of the first Action Plan for Jobs in 2012.
  • In the five Action Plans to date, almost 1,400 individual actions to support job creation and improve the environment for doing business have been delivered 
  • 16 Departments and 60 Agencies are involved in this work.

Action Plan for Jobs 2016

Action Plan for Jobs 2016 contains 304 actions to be implemented. This is the fifth in the annual series of jobs plan, and the first in a new phase of the Action Plan for Jobs process, after the original target of 100,000 extra jobs by 2016 was hit last year, 21 months ahead of schedule.

Among the priorities for this year are:

  • All Government transactions with business will be available online by 2017, a move which will affect 370 Government transactions with 185,000 businesses across the country
  • Following the successful rollout of the Regional Jobs plans, further actions to support regional jobs growth supported by €530million in funding
  • A step-up in skills supply, including a single Government web portal to highlight job opportunities to returning emigrants and a new National Skills Strategy
  • A series of measures to double the jobs impact from start-ups, including support for 185 high-potential and early-stage start-ups and 4000 jobs from the Local Enterprise Offices in 2016
  • Mentoring and management development programmes for 1300 Irish companies in 2016
  • €150million in new funding for R&D from Horizon 2020, and €600million in R&D investment annually from multinational companies
  • A National Clustering Initiative – while clustering is an important strength of the Irish economy, particularly at regional level, research suggests that this can be significantly strengthened with specific initiatives

APJ16_INTView the plan and quarterly progress reports for Action Plan for Jobs 2016 here.

Action Plan for Jobs 2015

Action Plan for Jobs 2015 contained 382 actions to be implemented and an annual completion rate of 89%. Among the priorities for this year were:

  • ensure an adequate supply of finance for growth, including through new Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland
  • improve skills provision through a National Talent Drive and increase activation of the unemployed
  • coordinated actions at regional level including actions to stimulate domestic demand and local employment in sectors such as construction and retail, tourism, hospitality and agriculture and food
  • expand reform measures to boost entrepreneurship across all areas of the economy and society based on implementation of the Government’s Entrepreneurship Strategy
  • enhance firm-level productivity and to increase the levels of research, innovation and technology development for the benefit of enterprise
  • Reducing red tape, streamlining public interactions with enterprises and improving service efficiency remain key priorities for government

APJ 2015

View the plan and quarterly progress reports for Action Plan for Jobs 2015 here.

Action Plan for Jobs 2014

Action Plan for Jobs 2014 consisted of 385 actions to be implemented and had an annual completion rate of 91%. 

Among the priorities in 2014 were to improve competitiveness and growth potential (particularly in retail, manufacturing, construction/property, tourism and international financial services); investing in and supporting economic activity and employment through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund/NewERA; winning business abroad and further increasing international trade and investment (particularly with exports to newer markets) and promoting the role of education and training in job creation and in filling positions from the Live Register, together with welfare reforms to increase activation and assist the unemployed to be best placed to avail of job opportunities.

APJ 2014

View the plan and quarterly progress reports for Action Plan for Jobs 2014 here.

Action Plan for Jobs 2013

The Action Plan for Jobs 2013 consisted of 333 actions, that had an annual completion rate of 94% by the end of the year. 

The main priorities for the 2013 Action Plan for Jobs were to support improved access to finance by SMEs, help build competitive advantage, further improve our skills base, encourage entrepreneurship and support start-up activity, help our businesses to grow, and develop and deepen opportunities from global investment. In addition, the Plan for 2013 included a number of new flagship projects in areas such as the digital and green economies which will kick-start long overdue reforms, present new opportunities to support firms, and exploit Ireland’s strengths.

APJ 2013

View the plan and quarterly progress reports for Action Plan for Jobs 2013 here.

Action Plan for Jobs 2012

The Action Plan for Jobs 2012 consisted of 272 actions, that had an annual completion rate of 92% by the end of the year.

The main priorities for the 2012 Action Plan for Jobs were to target different sectors with new policy supports and change the way Government interacts with businesses by cutting costs and red tape. It took steps to support growth industries, attract new foreign investment and increase our exports even further.

APJ 2014

View the plan and quarterly progress reports for the 2012 Action Plan for Jobs here.

Who are the Industry Partners?

In March 2013, six leading figures from the private sector were appointed as Industry Partners.

Industry Partners help with the implementation of the Action Plan, identifying new opportunities for cooperation with the private sector and ensuring there is a good collaborative approach between Government and industry. In particular, the Industry Partners help drive some of the Disruptive Reforms by chairing working groups or providing insight. It is a voluntary position and this work is pro bono.  

The Industry Partners are also members of the newly configured National Competitiveness Council, which helps to ensure that there is a strong business and enterprise presence on that important body.

JOBS_Taoiseach_Louise PhelanThey are:

  • Liam Casey, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PCH International
  • John Herlihy, Vice President, International SMB Sales and Head, Google Ireland
  • Sean O’Driscoll, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Glen Dimplex Group
  • Louise Phelan, Vice President of Global Operations Europe, Middle East and Africa, PayPal (pictured here)
  • Heather Reynolds, Owner and Director, Eishtec
  • Dave Shanahan, Healthcare professional and former Head of Strategic Health Initiatives, AbbVie

You can read more about the Industry Partners and their appointment here