€40m set aside for ‘competitive jobs fund’

15 Jan 2016

A new Enterprise Ireland-backed fund of €40m has been created for “competitive” job creation as part of the Irish Government’s regional jobs plan push.

The €40m is up for grabs for those who can satisfy a few key criteria. For example, if you’re trying to create jobs and you can collaborate with local authorities, education institutions, chambers of commerce or the likes, you’re in with a shot.

€40m is hardly a huge sum for an eight-part regional jobs plan that aims to create 220,000 extra jobs, and it’s broken down across five areas:

  • Regional accelerator projects
  • Opportunities to drive greater company/sector collaboration/clustering in the regions
  • Driving procurement opportunities for start-ups and established small businesses
  • Strengthening third level as a driver of regional enterprise
  • Strengthening the start-up ecosystem locally

Competition for the funding is hoped to help foster innovation in a wide variety of industries, with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD saying: “This competitive fund has at its heart one of the key elements of our regional jobs strategy – maximising local strengths through a coordinated effort from all local stakeholders.”

The rollout of the Government’s regional jobs plan is almost complete, with just one of the eight remaining, with the last area, Dublin, expected in the coming weeks.

Jobs in Ireland: A spread

By pushing job prospects into the regions, the Irish Government is hoping it can get the whole country as close to the average level of unemployment as possible.

For example, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton TD has hopes for 25,000 new jobs in vital areas like agri-food, tech manufacturing, digital media, renewable energy and the equine in counties in Ireland’s Mid-East region.

“This new €40m competitive regional jobs fund will facilitate more new companies being started up and scaled, which is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland,” said Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland.

“It will also encourage greater collaboration between the research and business communities, which will help to develop more innovative companies and, ultimately, more sustainable jobs at a regional level.”

For those that do get jobs in whatever wave ensues from initiatives like this fund, if you’re in a STEM profession you could be in for a good year.

Areas where skills shortages are most acute in Ireland, namely life sciences, IT and engineering, could see salary increases of up to 20pc this year, according to a new Morgan McKinley report.

The talent demand will mostly be felt in IT, finance, risk, life sciences, pharma and engineering, with pay rises around the 10pc mark for many roles, rising to 20pc in areas with acute shortages within these fields.

Euro image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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