Speaking following the publication of the final progress report under the Action Plan for Jobs 2012, Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, said that the measures being implemented under the plan are helping to rebuild our economy. The report shows that 92% of the 270 measures committed to under the Plan have been delivered. The Action Plan for Jobs covers all 15 Government departments, as well as 36 State agencies.
“The Government launched the Action Plan for Jobs this time last year, to deliver a wide range of measures to boost job creation, improve the enterprise environment, and bring about economic growth. The final progress report shows the Plan is working; over the last 12 months there have been a number of encouraging signs of progress in the labour market.
“In the three years before the Government came to office, 250,000 jobs were lost in the private sector. In 2012, 12,000 new jobs were created in the private sector. This growth was led by exporting companies; which have been targeted with supports and incentives under the Action Plan for Jobs. We had significant success in attracting a number of high profile companies to invest here last year, including Apple, EA Games, PayPal, Allergan, and Northern Trust.
“Employment grew in nine of the fourteen economic sectors over the year. We are still losing jobs in the construction sector; that is why the Government is focussed on a range of training and activation measures to ensure people can reskill and are ready to take full advantage of improvements in the economy.
“The Action Plan for Jobs is directly aimed at helping small businesses to expand, enter new markets and create jobs. Among the key measures delivered over the last year were the Microfinance Scheme, which will benefit 5,500 businesses; the Credit Guarantee Scheme, which could create up to 4,000 jobs; the Development Capital Scheme, which targets investment in mid-sized companies and the new Potential Exporters Division in Enterprise Ireland, which helps Irish companies enter export markets.
“A key element of the Action Plan for Job is constant monitoring; progress reports are published every three months to ensure the targets are being met. Through this sustained approach we can rebuild our economy from the old, failed model based on banking and construction, to a new model based on enterprise and innovation. The Action Plan for Jobs 2013 is due to be launched shortly; it will help us keep on the right track to getting Ireland back to work.”