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96% of measures delivered under Action Plan for Jobs Fifth Progress Report - Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister for Jobs

26th April 2013

144 out of 150 measures scheduled in the Action Plan for Jobs to be delivered in the first quarter of 2013 have been implemented, the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation announced today [Friday] as they published the Action Plan for Jobs Fifth Progress Report.

Measures delivered include:

  • Implemented range of measures to deliver an additional 2,000 ICT graduates over the next year. The changes made aim to deliver an additional 700 additional employment permits in the ICT sector and an additional 1300 graduates from industry-led programmes, as well as a 33% decrease in processing time for permits. International research has shown that for every high-tech job created, a further 4 to 5 jobs are created elsewhere in the economy
  • Published and commenced implementing the Government’s plan to deliver an additional 20,000 manufacturing jobs by 2016
  • Approved a Government investment of ¤200million in seven world-class SFI research centres, in partnership with ¤100million industry investment
  • Implemented the 10 Point Tax Plan for the Small and Medium Enterprise Sector as announced in Budget 2013
  • A ¤1million initial investment in an industry-led technology centre in Big Data, a sector growing at 40% per annum which provides particular job opportunities for Ireland
  • Provided support for, via the National Pensions Reserve Fund, the delivery of a range of Funds totalling ¤850million aimed at providing credit for SMEs

The Taoiseach said:

"In response to the largest unemployment crisis ever faced by this State, the Government established a rolling multi-annual Action Plan for Jobs to get Ireland working again.  Today’s progress report confirms that Government is delivering on its commitments to date, leading to real progress on our task of transforming the economy from one based on property speculation to one based on enterprise, exports and innovation.  These plans are beginning to make a real impact with the creation of 1,000 new private sector jobs a month.  However, although this is movement in the right direction, there is much more to be done and we will continue to accelerate job creation measures in our Action Plan."

The Tánaiste said:

“Trade promotion and assisting indigenous business to trade is another area of activity vital to our recovery.  I was pleased to launch, with Minister Bruton, the 2013 programme of Ministerial events targeting trade and investment for Ireland.  

“Earlier this month I led a successful trade mission to Turkey where we made important progress in developing new markets for Irish business and, with over 30 million in contracts signed, helped to create and support jobs in Ireland”.

Minister Bruton said:

“We are starting to see real progress with our plan to rebuild the economy after 250,000 jobs were lost during the last three years of the previous Government due to the collapse of their economic model based on property, banking and debt. We know that many people have yet to feel the effects of this progress, and that many people are really struggling.

“Over the past 15 months an additional 15,000 jobs have been created in the private sector. Irish and multinational exporting companies had record years in 2012, with major jobs announcements by companies like PayPal and Kerry Group, and our exports have hit levels 16% above the pre-2008 high.

“Today’s announcement shows that the progress is continuing. Jobs will remain our top priority, and we will continue to implement the changes necessary to rebuild the economy. We will continue to deliver on our plan and accelerate the transition to a sustainable, economy based on exports, innovation and enterprise that can provide the jobs that we so badly need”.

Further measures delivered include:

  • Approved the creation of an Energy Efficiency Fund to support innovative energy efficiency in the public and commercial sectors
  • Continued to roll out the Pathways to Work initiative including the integrated Intreo service, and published of quarterly targets by which to measure progress.
  • Encouraged and reported on restraint exercised in setting commercial rates for 2013 by Local Authorities. 87 out of the 88 rating authorities have either reduced their ARV or kept it the same as in 2012. The average nationwide decrease is 0.34%. This follows similar decreases of 0.31% in 2012, 0.64% in 2011 and 0.62% in 2010
  • Led an intensive schedule of international visits and events targeting trade and investment for Ireland. As part of the St. Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme 19 Government Ministers, including the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister Bruton, travelled to 21 countries, took part in a total of over 150 business-related events and 30 high-level political meetings. Other missions included the Tánaiste’s trade mission of 24 companies to Turkey and Minister Bruton’s trade mission of 40 Irish companies to Texas.

The complete Progress Report can be found at the following link: http://www.djei.ie/publications/2013APJ_First_Progress_Report.pdf

For further information contact:

Press Office, Department Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

This is the fifth Action Plan for Jobs progress report from the Monitoring Committee established by Government to monitor and drive implementation of the measures contained in the Action Plan for Jobs 2013. It outlines progress made on measures due for completion in the first quarter of 2013. The Monitoring Committee comprises representatives of the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Forfás, and the Office of the Tánaiste.

The Government published the second in its multi-annual Action Plan for Jobs seriesin February this year. This Plan, which contains 333 actions to be implemented in 2013 by all Government Departments and 46 agencies, will build on the progress made in 2012 and continue to improve supports for job-creating businesses and remove the barriers to employment-creation across the economy. These actions are additional to the 249 actions already implemented under Action Plan for Jobs 2012, and reported on by the Monitoring Committee in its previous four quarterly reports (see www.djei.ie). In a departure from the 2012 plan, Action Plan for Jobs 2013 contains seven headline “Disruptive Reform” measures – high-impact measures with highly ambitious deadlines, implemented in partnership with senior industry partners and selected because of their potential to have a significant effect on job-creation.

In the first quarter of 2013, Departments and agencies were to deliver 150 measures relating to 105 of the Action Plan’s333 actions. All but six of the measures due in Quarter 1 of 2013 have been delivered on schedule, giving a completion rate of 96%. In delivering 144 first quarter measures under the Plan, the Government has, for example:

  • As part of Disruptive Reform 1 – “Big Data”
    • Funded the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) to sustain it over the next three years to 2015. ICHEC provides high-end computing resources, support, education and training for researchers as well as the provision of key high performance computing supports to Irish based industry.
  • As part of Disruptive Reform 2 – ICT Skills Availability
    • Provided for a total of 2,000 additional ICT graduate-level places in the coming year through the education system and the employment permits system.
    • Increased by 50%, or 700, the number of employment permits granted over the coming year in the ICT sector. International research has shown that for every high-tech job created, a further 4 to 5 jobs are created elsewhere in the economy.
    • Reduced by 33% the processing time for employment permits.
    • Improved the appeals process and reduced the number of appeals.
    • Broadened the highly-skilled eligible occupations list.
    • Provided for 700 additional graduates from ICT skills conversion programmes, and 600 additional graduates from Springboard ICT courses.
  • As part of Disruptive Reform 6 – Energy Efficiency
    • Approved the creation of an Energy Efficiency Fund to support innovative energy efficiency in the public and commercial sectors.

And more broadly:

  • Continued to roll out the Pathways to Work initiative including the integrated Intreo service, and published quarterly targets by which to measure progress. (Action 52)
  • Implemented the 10 Point Tax Plan for the Small and Medium Enterprise Sector as announced in Budget 2013.
  • This Plan introduces a number of tax measures to assist the small business sector in a number of ways; including helping their cash flow position, helping them access funding and reducing the costs associated with the administrative burden of tax compliance. It also includes measures such as reforming the three-year corporation tax relief for start-up companies, increasing the cash receipts basis threshold for VAT, amending the Close Company Surcharge to improve cash flow for SMEs and extending the Foreign Earnings Deduction for work-related travel to certain additional countries. (Action 53)
  • Monitored the lending targets for the two pillar banks, with the Credit Review Office reporting that both banks have achieved their ¤3.5 billion SME loan sanction targets, with over ¤8 billion sanctioned in 2012, of which ¤2.5 billion (27%) was new lending. (Action 59)
  • Provided support for, via the National Pensions Reserve Fund, the delivery of a range of Funds aimed at assisting economic growth and employment in Ireland. In January 2013 the NPRF announced that it will invest up to ¤500 million in three new SME funds which will make up to ¤850 million available for SMEs through the provision of equity, credit and restructuring/recovery investment. (Action 66)
  • Transposed the Late Payments Directive, modernising the relevant laws and making them consistent across Europe. The revised legislation will act as a deterrent to late payment and become a driver for payment on time. It will establish a clear expectation that payment will be made according to agreed terms and that creditors will not be penalised. (Action 75)
  • Encouraged and reported on restraint exercised in setting commercial rates for 2013 by Local Authorities. 87 out of the 88 rating authorities have either reduced their ARV or kept it the same as in 2012. The average nationwide decrease is 0.34%. This follows similar decreases of 0.31% in 2012, 0.64% in 2011 and 0.62% in 2010. (Action 124)
  • Undertaken a schedule of international visits and events targeting trade and investment for Ireland. Trade missions and events in Quarter 1 included a trade visit to Germany in February and to Texas in March. As part of the St. Patrick’s Day ‘Promote Ireland’ programme, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Government Ministers, travelled to 21 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for a series of trade, investment and tourism-focused programmes. (Action 199)
  • Provided for the granting of visas free of charge and on an accelerated basis to visa-required nationals attending 29 authorised events during the Gathering. (Action 308)

As stated above, six of the measures outlined in the Plan have not been delivered on schedule:

  1. Regarding the Copyright Review Committee, complete evaluation and analysis following extensive consultation work undertaken and prepare final report for Government (Action 90): Extensive evaluation and analysis has been undertaken and the report by the Members of the Copyright Review Committee is in its final stages of preparation. However, due to the level of other commitments (including the EU Presidency), it has not been possible to complete the Report of the Copyright Review Committee by the end of Quarter 1. The Report is expected to be brought to Government early in Quarter 2.
  2. Complete the licensing process to enable development of the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site at Belmullet (Action 103): A Natura Impact Statement on this is now required due to a recent decision to propose the designation of the ‘West Connacht Coast’ site as a Special Area of Conservation in respect of the Bottlenose Dolphin. A significant amount of relevant information has already been provided by the applicant in the original Environmental Impact Statement and it is understood that submission of the Natura Impact Statement can be made by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland within a matter of weeks. While the designation has yet to be confirmed, the site enjoys protection from the date of its proposed designation and accordingly, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, is required to complete an Appropriate Assessment of the proposal. It is anticipated that the Minister’s assessment of the proposal can be concluded within Quarter 2.
  3. Publish the general scheme of a Bill to integrate the foreshore consent process under the Foreshores Act 1933 with the existing on-land planning system (Action 104): The draft General Scheme of a Bill has been referred to the Office of the Attorney General following a Government decision. Once the observations of the Office of the Attorney General are received, the Bill will be circulated to Departments prior to publication. Subject to the response from the Office of the Attorney General, it is anticipated that the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government will be in a position to publish the Bill within Quarter 2.
  4. In relation to the launch of the Local Enterprise Offices, publish a model Service Level Agreement between Enterprise Ireland and Local Authorities (Action 173): Significant progress was made on this measure over Quarter 1 and a detailed and robust Framework Service Level Agreement (SLA) has been agreed and finalised between Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities. However, the arrangements for publication of the Framework SLA are subject to Ministerial diary commitments and it will not be published until May.
  5. Regarding the launch of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO), finalise and launch of the LEO brand and logo (Action 173): Following a tendering process, a company was appointed to design a new logo and associated branding. The new brand and logo have been finalised and will be launched at the same time as the publication of the Framework Service Level Agreement (see above).
  6. Promote Ireland as a centre of excellence in Information Security (Action 333): The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has invited the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Justice and Equality to a meeting to commence the process of exploring the possible role and functions of an Expert Group on Security and Privacy. Due to competing priorities, this meeting has not yet taken place.

Progress on these items will be monitored by the Committee across Quarter 2 and an update provided in its Second Progress Report.

The 2013 Plan, the second instalment in an ambitious multi-year process, aims to create the environment where the number of people at work will increase by 100,000 by 2016, and reach 2 million people by 2020. While unemployment remains high, there are signs of progress in the labour market. For example in 2012, IDA Ireland companies created the highest number of new jobs in a decade with 6,570 net new jobs recorded, whilst Enterprise Ireland client companies had their best performance since 2006 with the creation of more than 3,000 net new jobs. Overall, the latest data show that the number of persons employed in Ireland increased over the year to Quarter 4 2012, the first annual increase in employment recorded since the second quarter of 2008. In addition, CSO Live Register figures for March 2013 represent an annual decrease of -8,966 (-2.1%) in the number of people of people on the Live Register compared to the same month last year.

ENDS

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Last modified: 26/04/2013

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