Govt initiative aims to add 50,000 more jobs in 2016

Monday 18 January 2016 22.57
The Government aims to create 50,000 jobs in 2016, almost all in the private sector
The Government aims to create 50,000 jobs in 2016, almost all in the private sector

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, have launched a jobs initiative in Kildare. 

2016 Action Plan for Jobs is the fifth annual series of actions to be taken by the Government to aid job creation.

The initiative aims to create 50,000 jobs in 2016, almost all in the private sector, similar to last year. 

The action plan includes measures to help industries create jobs, including progress reports every three months to Government.

Priorities this year focus on intellectual property development, and the supply of skilled employees for the IT sector.

The first action plan for jobs aimed at employment growth of 100,000 by 2016. 

According to the Government that figure was beaten last year, and employment is 135,000 higher than when the first programme was launched.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Kenny said: "The Action Plan process has been very successful in driving implementation across Government and this high level of collaboration is something that I would like to see expanded in the next government. 

"Supporting new job creation will be a central plank of our long term economic plan for the country. 

"For this reason, building on the success of the Action Plan process, I will develop a Long Term Economic Plan Delivery Unit within the Department of An Taoiseach to coordinate the key elements of our economic plan, including new Action Plans for Jobs, in the next government. 

"This will ensure that keeping the recovery going will be on top of the agenda of all Government departments and agencies. 

"For this year, this 2016 Action Plan seeks to add another 50,000 jobs to the economy."

Sinn Féin however, has accused the Government of launching jobs documents like "confetti at a wedding" and obscuring the jobs crisis.

"My serious concern is that much of the uplift that has happened in the state has been geographically lopsided," Sinn Féin Enterprise and Innovation Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín said. 

He added that it "has happened due to factors outside of our control such as Quantitative Easing, falling oil prices, low interest rates, favourable exchange rates, and healthy US and British economies.

"The reality is that the government is taking credit for the external factors that have helped to create employment in Ireland while condemning thousands of our people to low paid employment and under-employment."

Reacting to the publication of the plan, Ibec, the group that represents business in Ireland, said that the plan identifies many of the issues which will sustain the recovery and support business, but highlighted challenges facing the economy.

"While the unemployment rate still remains far too high, the single biggest challenge facing business in 2016 is getting the right skills," Ibec Director of Policy Fergal O'Brien said.

"It is now vital that we see a whole of government approach to delivering the plan as many of the aspirations can only be achieved through investment and policy change in key government departments.

"A real commitment to tax policy reform for entrepreneurs and employees and a meaningful increase in capital investment will be needed from the next government."