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To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in view of the fact that the private sector has not delivered the number of jobs predicted, his views on whether it is time for the State sector to take a different approach and play a direct role in job creation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

-Mick Wallace. 

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 23rd April, 2013.

REPLY

Job creation is a key priority for the Government.  As I have pointed out on many occasions, the Government does not create jobs – entrepreneurs and successful businesses do.  However, the Government has a lead role to play in providing the environment where businesses can start-up, expand and create jobs.

The Action Plan for Jobs has set the objective of supporting the creation of 100,000 net new jobs in the economy by 2016 and making Ireland the best small country in which to do business.  My role and that of other Government Ministers and Departments is to ensure that we have the right policies in place to support enterprise growth and innovation so that employment can be created and maintained.

The Action Plan for Jobs focuses on the creation of a supportive environment for businesses so that they can retain existing jobs and create new ones.  We are transforming our economy, step by step, by taking measures across all Government Departments and many State agencies to remove administrative burdens on business, improve their access to finance, further improve our export performance and support the development of key growth sectors.

The Action Plan for Jobs is aimed at supporting the transition from the old, failed economy reliant on property, banking and debt to a new, sustainable, jobs-rich economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation. In the year since we launched the first plan that transition has been gathering momentum, with 12,000 net jobs added in the private sector in 2012 and a record year for job-creation by exporting companies in multinational and indigenous sectors in the same year.

One of the significant benefits of the approach taken in the Action Plan is that is has focussed Agencies and Departments right across Government to put forward measures that would make it easier for enterprises to develop opportunities and create employment. It is not of course possible to attach a specific job’s target to many of these actions.

The results from 2012 demonstrate that the plan is working. However, the Government acknowledges that we have a long way to go.  If we are to sustain and accelerate this positive movement, we must continue a relentless focus across Government on jobs and competitiveness.  The challenge now is to build on the progress we have made, work harder, deliver more ambitious change – and we are determined to do that to tackle our number one priority and create the jobs we need.

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