The Irish Government has published plans devised by Forfás and the Expert Group on Future Skills to create 20,000 new manufacturing jobs by 2016.
The plan includes a Start-up Fund run by Enterprise Ireland targeting support for new manufacturing companies.
Enterprise Ireland will also establish a new Capability Fund to support investment by manufacturing organisations.
Both Enterprise Ireland and the IDA will work together to provide financial support for R&D investment in engineering firms.
To foster new skills and capabilities, Enterprise Ireland and IDA will launch a new national Step Change initiative aimed at helping existing manufacturing companies to engage in upskilling, peer training, and R&D, and accelerate collaboration and form part of global sourcing linkages.
As well as including proposals to reduce energy and waste costs, the plan includes proposals around better targeting of training supports in the manufacturing sector to pinpoint areas where skills shortages might emerge.
Irish manufacturing sector currently employs 200,000 people
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, unveiled the new plan today at Prodieco, an Irish manufacturing company that is creating 130 new jobs supplying the pharmaceutical sector.
“Despite a substantial decline over the past decade, manufacturing is a crucial sector employing over 200,000 people directly and a similar number indirectly,” Bruton said.
“We in Government believe that the sector has substantial capacity for jobs growth, and that is why we decided two years ago to examine new ways of targeting support at manufacturing.
“The industry-led forum which we established to drive change in this sector has made real progress, and the strategy laid out today by Forfás shows that our Action Plan for Jobs target of 20,000 additional jobs in the sector by 2016 is achievable with the right supports from Government.
“Here in Prodieco we can see first hand what is possible in this sector for companies who show willingness to change and pursue new opportunities for growth. I am determined to ensure that we implement change, support more companies to change and pursue new growth markets, and create the jobs we need,” Bruton said.