Thomas Pringle TD

Dáil Q: The continuing trend of business closures in rural Ireland must be addressed



NO. 15
To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if she will address the ongoing issue of business closures in rural towns across Ireland; the status on the way her department is working towards regional and rural job creation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
– Thomas Pringle.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 8th December, 2016.

Ref No: 38953/16

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Ms Mitchell O’Connor)

The Regional Action Plan initiative is working to address regional and rural job creation by bringing different stakeholders in each of the 8 regions together to identify innovative and practical actions, to be taken across a range of Departments and agencies, with clear timelines for delivery over the period 2015 – 2017.

The plans are currently being monitored and driven in each region by Implementation Committees, comprising representatives from the Enterprise Sector, as well as the Local Authorities, Enterprise Agencies, and other public bodies in the region. Collaboration between the private and the public sector has been a core element in each plan’s development, and will be central to each plan’s delivery. The first progress reports on these Plans have been finalised and will be published shortly.

A key objective of the plans is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in each region by 2020, with the aim of having the unemployment rate of each region within one per cent of the national average.

The success of the Regional Action Plans for Jobs is crucial to the Government in meeting the ambition to create an additional 200,000 jobs, 135,000 of which are outside the Dublin region, by 2020.
Employment has been growing continuously for the past 16 quarters and over the past year employment has grown in all regions.

The most recent figures from the CSO also show that 72% of all jobs created in the past year were created outside Dublin.

Continuing to work towards the ambitious targets at regional level requires a renewed focus on building on regional strengths, assets and areas of competitive advantage to develop the attractive and competitive environments for business to start, grow and succeed on international markets and to attract inward investment.

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