As many as 40,000 jobs will be created in Ireland’s south-west region of Cork and Kerry as part of a regional jobs strategy revealed this morning by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton TD.
This amounts to a 10-15pc employment growth over the coming years.
This is the second plan out of eight regional jobs plans to be published by the Government that are part of an overall €250m regional jobs strategy.
Key sectors targeted in the plan include agri-food, tourism, life sciences, manufacturing and ICT, as well as emerging sectors like multimedia/content and the green economy, energy and marine.
Make way for the smart region
Between now and 2017 the plan envisages a 40-50pc increase in start-ups that will be achieved through funding, mentoring and providing workspaces for entrepreneurs.
Export companies are tipped to see an increase of 20pc in employment through a 30-40pc increase in the number of IDA Ireland investments achieved, the building of an IDA advance facility in Tralee and a 50pc increase in research collaborations.
The Government aims to double the level of workforce training taking place in the region.
A key part of the plan involves progressing the Munster Technological University project, as well as doubling apprenticeships enrolment in the region.
The plan calls for capturing new sectors by developing a creative hub for the content and multimedia sector, as well as actions to develop new energy technologies, developing the green economy in the region and deploying “smart region” internet of things devices like smooth sensors for traffic and utility management.
Something worth fighting for
During the crash, employment in the south-west dipped by 45,000, or 15pc. However, since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012, jobs in the region have recovered by 11,200.
In the action plan’s period to 2020 as many as 41,670 new jobs are being targeted for creation.
“The south-west is a region with huge potential for job creation, with an excellent base of exporting companies, strong sectors and a tradition of collaboration between education institutions and businesses,” Minister Bruton said.
“It has performed well in recent years, with over 11,000 extra jobs created since we launched the national Action Plan for Jobs, but it has potential to deliver so much more. That is why we are putting in place this highly ambitious plan to dramatically accelerate job-creation in the region.
“I am convinced that with the right support from Government through the south-west plan, and by continuing the collaborative approach right across the region, we can deliver 40,000 extra jobs over the coming years. This would be 40,000 extra pay packets coming into communities and 40,000 lives back on track – a goal well worth fighting for.”
Kerry landscape image via Shutterstock