THE Government has launched a ‘South West Action Plan for Jobs’ as part of its €250m regional jobs strategy with the aim of creating 40,000 jobs over the next five years.
The South West Plan will cover the Kerry/Cork Region and will target sectors of the economy such as agri-food, tourism, life sciences, manufacturing and ICT, as well as multimedia/content and the green economy, energy and marine.
If this plan is successful it would see the creation of up to 40,000 new jobs in the Kerry and Cork region by 2020, according to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD.
It is hoped that the plan will create up to 10-15% employment growth over the coming years.
The Government outlined actions in the plan to be delivered over the period 2015-2017 which include:
• Start-ups – a 40-50% increase in the number of businesses starting-up, scaling and surviving, delivered through a range of measures including more co-working space and mentoring for entrepreneurs and new funding through competitive calls.
• Exporting companies – 20% increase in employment in exporting companies, delivered by adding 30-40% to the number of IDA investments achieved, building an IDA advance facility in Tralee, 50% increase in enterprise-research collaborations and other measures to support growth in Irish exporting companies
• Skills – doubling the level of workforce training and development activity, delivered by progressing the Munster Technological University project, establishing an Employer and Education Skills Forum, doubling apprenticeships enrolment in the region
• Agri-food – 40% increase in output to 2020, including developing the region as an international centre of excellence in areas like agri-engineering, agri-food, seafood production and food product development
• Tourism – 33% increase in overseas tourist numbers and 40% increase in overseas revenue from the sector
• New sectors, including developing a Creative Hub for the content/multimedia sector, actions to develop innovative energy technology and solutions combining the regions strengths in research and enterprise, developing the green economy in the region and rolling out “smart region” infrastructure like i-beams and smooth sensors for traffic and utility management.