The Government has launched an action plan to create job opportunites for counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford and Tipperary.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton claimed the Action Plan for Jobs plan can help create 25,000 jobs in the southeast over the next five years.

The plan is part of a Government drive to launch regional jobs initiatives for each part of the country.

Mr Bruton said that in the past three years, during which the southeast has had a greater unemployment rate than others, the region has now experienced the fastest rate of jobs growth of any region in the country, with 25,300 extra jobs, representing a 14% increase.

The action plan launch came as Mr Bruton and IDA executives also announced 270 new jobs for the region.

200 jobs will be created over the next six months in Clonmel by Eishtec, a customer service solution provider, which has its headquarters in Waterford.

The jobs will be at Eishtec's new call centre which is opening soon in Clonmel. The company started four years ago, with just nine employees and now employs 1,300 people at sites in Waterford, Wexford and Craigavon.

Recruitment will start immediately.

Another company, Bluefin Payment Systems, which has its headquarters in Atlanta in the US, is to set up a technology and operations centre in Waterford, creating 40 jobs over the next three years.

Meanwhile in Kilkenny, an information security services provider CipherTechs, with headquarters in New York, is to generate around 36 jobs in the coming years with new offices.