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Action Plan for Jobs 2012: 92% of measures delivered – Taoiseach, Tanaiste, Minister for Jobs

249 out of the 270 measures committed to be implemented in 2012 by all 15 Government Departments and 36 Agencies under the Action Plan for Jobs have been delivered, the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Minister for Jobs announced today Friday.

They were speaking as they published the fourth and final quarterly progress report under Action Plan for Jobs 2012. Action Plan for Jobs 2013 will be published in the coming weeks.

As well as reporting on delivery of measures under the Action Plan, Minister Bruton also outlined signs of progress in the labour market, which include:

  • Net growth of almost 12,000 in private sector employment in the past year. In the three years to March 2011 a net 250,000 jobs were lost in the private sector
  • Net growth of more than 15,000 in the exporting sectors since the start of 2011. In the three years 2008-2010 a net 45,000 jobs were lost in these sectors

In February 2012 the Government published Action Plan for Jobs 2012, outlining the 270 new measures that would be implemented across Government during 2012 to drive employment creation. This was the first in an annual series of plans aimed at supporting a net increase in employment of 100,000 by 2016.
In a new departure for Government, underlining the priority assigned to job-creation, a monitoring committee was established led jointly by the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Jobs which committed to providing quarterly reports on the implementation by each Department and Agency of the measures committed for each quarter.
Among the measures delivered in 2012 are:

  • €90million microfinance scheme to benefit 5500 businesses, create 7700 jobs
  • €450million credit guarantee scheme to benefit 5600 businesses, create 4000 jobs
  • €225million development capital scheme targeting investments of €2-€5million in mid-sized companies
  • New Potential Exporters Division established in Enterprise Ireland
  • Measures to turn good ideas emerging from State-backed scientific research into more good jobs, including Research Prioritisation, a "one-stop shop" for commercialising ideas and new technology research centres
  • Launch of the National Broadband Plan
  • Allocation of €20 million to a new Education and Training Fund targeting the Long Term Unemployed
  • Implementation of a series of pro-jobs tax measures
  • Industry-led manufacturing body to drive creation of 20,000 new jobs
  • Health Innovation Hub to drive collaboration between the health system and industry
  • A cross-Government Statement on the Green Economy with the potential to create 10,000 jobs

Speaking at today's announcement, the Taoiseach said:
"Getting Ireland working again is the top priority for the Government. The Action Plan for Jobs 2012 supported the transition from the old, failed economy based on property, banking and debt to a new, sustainable economy based on exports, innovation and enterprise. While there is still much to do we are on the right track to recovery with private sector job creation increasing once again."


The Tanaiste said:
"I welcome the high implementation rate on commitments under our Action Plan for Jobs 2012. The Action Plan has put in place a clear framework to support and grow indigenous business and build on our success in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. We must continue to concentrate our efforts on creating the best environment for job creation and equipping those who have lost their jobs to return to employment. It remains our top priority."


Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said:
"Almost a year ago the Government outlined the first instalment in our plan to rebuild the economy and create the jobs we need. As we said at that time, there will be no 'big bang' solution to the employment crisis, what is needed is determined action across Government to implement the hundreds of reforms necessary to drive the transition to a new economy which can support the sustainable jobs we need. We outlined the 270 actions which we would implement in 2012 to start that process, and promised that we would be held to account in public on a quarterly basis on our record in delivering those actions.
"This is the type of open and accountable governance that had been absent for so many years and led to what became known as 'implementation deficit disorder'. With the approach we are taking with the Action Plan for Jobs I believe this particular deficit is being overcome and I am confident that we can achieve even more with this approach.


"The most important point to be made today is that the plan is working. 249 out of the 270 actions have been delivered, but more importantly we are starting to see some positive signs of employment growth in the sectors we have targeted and of a return to sustainable employment growth across the private sector. The transition which we are supporting from the old, failed economy based on property, banking and debt to a new, sustainable economy based on exports, innovation and enterprise is well underway. Now we must build on this solid record, implement the remaining actions without delay and press on with greater ambition in Action Plan 2013 to accelerate this transition and create more of the jobs we need".


NOTES FOR EDITORS

This is the fourth and final report of the Monitoring Committee established by Government to monitor and drive implementation of the measures contained in the Action Plan for Jobs 2012. The complete progress report is available at the following link:

Action Plan for Jobs 2012 Fourth Progress Report

The Action Plan for Jobs, which was published by Government in February 2012, provides a comprehensive framework for actions right across Government and the public sector to support economic growth and job creation. To deliver on this, the Plan outlines 270 actions to be undertaken in 2012. Each of the associated measures specifies the Government Department or Agency responsible for implementation, and the quarterly deadline in 2012 by which they will be delivered.


In order to drive implementation of the measures, the Government established a Monitoring Committee comprising representatives of the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and Forfás.


As with the previous three reports, it outlines progress made on measures due for completion in the preceding quarter, Quarter 4 of 2012. It also includes an update on measures described in the Plan as "ongoing in 2012."
The Progress Report also provides a synopsis of the implementation of the Plan as a whole over the year which shows that 249 of the 270 actions committed to be undertaken in 2012 have been delivered. This implementation rate of 92% is based on the delivery of 439 associated measures across all 15 Government Departments and 36 State Agencies over the course of 2012. As detailed below, five measures from Quarter 3, 15 from Quarter 4 and 1 "ongoing" action have not been completed as scheduled.


Action Plan for Jobs 2012: Supporting economic growth and job creation

The Action Plan for Jobs 2012 contains a wide range of measures to improve the overall enterprise environment, boost job creation and retention and bring about economic growth. It is the first instalment in an ambitious multi-year process which aims to see an increase in the number of people at work by 100,000 net by 2016.
Employment reduced by 16,200 in the public sector, while there was a net increase of almost 12,000 in private sector employment over the year. This growth was predominantly in the export-oriented sectors supported by the enterprise development agencies, as well as in tourism.


Employment grew in nine of the fourteen economic sectors over the year, with the greatest rates of decline recorded in declining sectors such as construction (-6.8% or -7,400), but with rises in employment in other sectors targeted by the Action Plan for Jobs, particularly internationally traded services.


The Action Plan process is having a positive impact on the enterprise environment and job creation which can be seen in the significant level of net job creation in the enterprise agencies client companies. Enterprise Ireland client companies created more than 3,000 net new jobs. In 2012, Enterprise Ireland also announced commitments of 7,000 new jobs in the pipeline, including the significant Kerry Group project in Co. Kildare which will generate 800 jobs. In 2012, IDA Ireland companies created the highest number of new jobs in a decade with 6,570 new net jobs recorded. New job announcements and investments by IDA client companies in 2012 included a number of significant flagship wins such as Apple, EA Games, PayPal (1,000 jobs) in Dundalk, Allergan (200 jobs) in Westport, and Northern Trust (400 jobs) in Limerick.
The level of employment growth in sectors targeted under the Action Plan including agrifood, digital gaming, ICT, medical devices, financial services, manufacturing and tourism is encouraging.
Action Plan for Jobs 2012: Capturing the impacts for economic growth and job creation
Overall, the Action Plan for Jobs is a rolling plan that above all will be judged on its results and impacts. In this context, some impacts linked to the implementation of measures in the first three quarters of 2012 aimed at enhancing the operating environment for firms, are now evident:

  • By the end of September 2012, over 530 employers had been awarded Employer Job (PRSI) exemptions in respect of almost 700 employees.
  • More than 800 places were made available on intensive Level 8 ICT Skills Conversion programmes rolled out from March 2012. Graduates of the programmes will be available from early 2013. A roll-out of a second phase of the conversion courses is scheduled for early this year.
  • 1,800 people enrolled on higher education ICT programmes as part of Springboard 2011 from which over 700 people have already graduated - over 50% with qualifications at honours degree level or above. A further 2,200 places have been made available on ICT programmes under the second phase of Springboard 2012.
  • The Immigrant Investor Bond is one of the investment options available to potential candidates for the Immigrant Investor Programme which has been open for applications since April of this year. Details of the bond can be viewed in the Guidelines for the programme which are available from the web-page of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service, www.inis.gov.ie. The bond has a term of 5 years and pays an annual interest rate of 1%.
  • The expansion in 18 seafood processing companies has generated an 135 additional jobs, while the successful buyer forum, Marketplace 2012, involving 176 Irish companies and 500 international buyers, had by end September achieved sales contracts of over €27 million. This significantly exceeded the €15 million annual target and compares favourably with €11 million achieved in the previous Marketplace event.

Action Plan for Jobs 2012: Delivery in Quarter 4

  • In the final quarter of 2012, Departments and agencies were to deliver 152 measures. Of these, 137 have been delivered in full and on schedule, giving a completion rate of 90% for the Quarter. During Quarter 4, a range of measures were also delivered which were reported as delayed in previous Quarters. Among the measures delivered in Q4 are:
  • Published the landmark Companies Bill, the largest substantive piece of legislation in the history of the State, aimed at making compliance easier and cheaper for start-ups and small businesses
  • Publication of a series of reports by Forfas, aimed at benchmarking Ireland's performance in competitiveness and access to finance against international best practice and setting out a series of recommendations aimed at improving Ireland's performance in this area.
  • Secured Government agreement on proposals for new structures for debt settlement and enforcement systems to meet SME needs. including designating the Circuit Courts as competent for the appointment of an examiner to certain companies;
  • Run an International Markets Week programme involving over 1,000 firm meetings in the week;
  • Expanded graduate programmes, including a target of 120 graduates participating on Graduates 4 International Growth, which assists companies with ambitious growth plans in key markets to acquire a graduate market research resource and possible future business development capability; Action 3.21.
  • Delivered the Diaspora "job finder's" fee scheme - Succeed in Ireland. To date, "finders" have submitted 485 names to Connect Ireland, the scheme administrators, of companies looking to expand abroad who could potentially choose to set up offices in Ireland.
  • Undertaken a detailed assessment of manufacturing skills needs and used new structures for training and skills development to address both the immediate needs of the manufacturing sector and to anticipate the longer term needs of the sector;
  • Published and began implementing a new Plan for the development of the Green Economy, "Delivering our Green Potential" setting out the opportunities in the sector, the role that Government will play in working with enterprise to support the development of the Green Economy, and the structures that will be put in place to coordinate cross-Government action to accelerate growth;

The completion rate of 90% for measures due for delivery in Quarter 4 follows on the 96% completion rate reported at the end of Quarter 1, 94% at the end of Quarter 2, and 87% at the end of Quarter 3. All of the 160 measures that fell due in the first six-month period have now been delivered in full. While the completion rate for Quarter 3 has risen from 87% to 93% since the publication of the last Report, five measures remain undelivered.

Action Plan for Jobs 2012: Delivery of "Ongoing 2012" Measures

As noted above, this Fourth Progress Report is the final one dealing with 2012 and thus provides an update on the actions described in the Plan as "ongoing 2012." All but one of these 97 measures has been delivered over the course of the year, giving a completion rate of 99% for those "ongoing 2012" measures. In progressing these "ongoing" actions over the last twelve months Government has, for example:

  • Placed downward pressure on commercial rents in respect of which NAMA has acquired the loan on the underlying property. By end-2012, the Agency had granted 212 applications for rent abatement with an aggregate annual value of €13.5 million.
  • Brought down the cost acquiring commercial property by reducing the Stamp Duty rate from 6% to 2% and the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax incentive for property purchased up to the end of 2013 and held for at least seven years.
  • Provided bonus points for students taking leaving certificate higher level mathematics from 2012
  • Through its Discover Science and Engineering programme, promoted the study of the physical sciences to students
  • Fostered greater alignment between the Further Education and Training sector and the labour market;
  • Invested over €1.5 billion of exchequer capital to ensure Ireland's infrastructure can facilitate economic growth, including capital investment for direct enterprise support and development;
  • Established a Manufacturing Development Forum to assist the Government in identifying the needs of manufacturing enterprises and to progress a transformation agenda in this area
  • Implemented the Action Plan on ICT Skills to address the skills needs of ICT and related sectors, with currently more than 800 participants on the Level 8 ICT Skills Conversion programmes that have been rolling out since March 2012, and more than 1,300 people now due to graduate from ICT courses provided under the first phase of Springboard.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation - Ph: 01-631 2200; e-mail: press.office@djei.ie
Conor Quinn, Press Adviser to Minister Bruton 087-3743783.
ENDS

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