Government plans to create 300,000 jobs have been criticised – with opposition labelling them low on specifics and high on targets.
However, An Taoiseach Brian Cowen has insisted the Government proposal would generate 150,000 new direct jobs and 150,000 spin-off jobs in tourism, manufacturing and trading services over the next five years.
Labour Party spokesperson on enterprise and innovation, Willie Penrose, has labelled the plans “high on targets and low on specifics” and insisted there was a need to focus on realistic strategies in “bread and butter industries”, as well as science and technology.
“Today’s document is fairly typical of previous publications from the government.
“Again as with a number or previous initiatives, today’s document focuses on the ‘smart economy’. Of course we need to exploit the potential that is there in terms of the smart economy and we need to maintain investment in science, technology and innovation.
“But we have to have realistic strategies for the bread-and-butter sectors, like tourism, agri-business and small businesses that can and will provide employment across the regions. We have to offer meaningful retraining and work-experience programmes – something Labour has been advocating for more than two years,” Penrose said.
The Government jobs announcement comes at a time when a recently published report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) found that this will be the sixteenth successive month with 400,000 on the live registrar.
The report, published, says the annual increase in the live registrar has seen the number of those unemployed rise by almost 5.5pc, with a monthly decrease in those signing on for the month of September alone.