The Irish Government’s regional jobs plan in the west of the country has highlighted ICT, medtech and pharma among the key drivers to create up to 25,000 jobs in Mayo, Roscommon and Galway, with €250m to be invested in the project.
Part of eight nationwide strategies, the latest Action Plan for Jobs takes in the three Connacht counties, which already host a number of businesses across the three industries that, nationally, are expanding employee numbers.
Agri-food and tourism are also targeted by the Government, with the Department for Jobs claiming 5,000 extra positions have been created in the region this year.
Included in the strategy are 194 plans, some sound tangible, some feasible and some hopeful. One such is to increase the number of start-ups in the region by a quarter and improve their survival chances.
The IDA is planning to up its investments significantly, with a “minimum” of 92 additional projects in the region by 2019 – facilities are being built in Castlebar (2016) and Galway (2017) to help achieve this.
Local enterprise offices will disburse more than €3m in grant funding, and provide mentoring support to more than 1,000 businesses per year.
There are plans to deliver “a series of actions to develop the marine research and ocean energy industries in the region”, which is an area enjoying significant growth at the moment.
Indeed Ireland, and the west and southwest in particular, is well positioned to become one of the world’s leading countries with regards marine research and ocean energy.
Last month, €3.5m funding was secured by a trio of companies in this area, while 10,000 jobs in the marine economy alone – nationally, rather than just in Mayo, Galway and Roscommon – is hoped for by 2020.
Elsewhere, the department is looking at increased participation of women in entrepreneurship, including through the Local Enterprise Offices and a Galway Chamber Female Entrepreneurship Programme focusing on growing and scaling enterprise.
Image of Downpatrick, Co Mayo, via Shutterstock