The Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform told the Dáil today that €1.6 billion will be made available to provide about 300,000 work and training places next year in support of the Pathways to Work strategy. 

€12m has been allocated for the JobPath initiative for next year, which will match the long term unemployed with appropriate training and employment opportunities.

Brendan Howlin also said that the Government will double the number of positions to 6,000 for the long-term unemployed on the Government's wage subsidy scheme, JobsPlus. It will also established the Low Pay Commission next year.

Mr Howlin said that another critical component underpinning future growth in jobs is sustained investment in research, development and innovation.

The combined R&D funding provision for Enterprise Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland next year is over 260m and the Minister sid this will enable Ireland to leverage significant new funding opportunities externally from industry partners and the EU.

More Gardaí and more funds for TUSLA

The Public Expenditure and Reform Minister also said that €2.2 billion will be allocated the Justice sector to recruit more Gardaí in the coming months.

€975m will be allocated to Children and Youth Affairs to support the new child and family agency, TUSLA. A capital allocation of €35m will be sued to support additional and improved child detention services.

Mr Howlin also told the Dáil that Ireland has secured €1.2 billion in Structural Funds for the years between 2014 and 2020. This is up 8% over the previous seven year period and includes a special allocation of 100m for the Border, Midlands and Western region. 

The Government has also secured additional funding for a new Peace Programme for the border counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

The Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will receive an increased allocation of €212m next year, which Mr Howlin said will support the country's cultural institutions and the Irish language. 

He also confirmed continued investment in "critical" Defence funding, with an allocation of €885m. He said this will be used for new navy vessels.

On international aid, Mr Howlin said that the country's overall official development assistance will come to about €600m in 2015. He said this level of funding will enable Ireland to continue to play a critical role in some of the most pressing humanitarian crisis witnessed for many generations, including the situation in Syria, Sierra Leone and Liberia.