The Irish Government has launched a Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs that could see the creation of 23,000 extra jobs throughout Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.
Targeting 10 to 15pc employment growth in the region by 2020, the plan is part of Ireland’s €250m regional jobs strategy and is the fourth of eight bespoke regional plans published so far.
The State claims that unemployment has fallen 16pc since the first national Action Plan was launched.
Agency-led jobs grew 9pc between 2011 and 2014.
The plan for the mid-west aims to generate jobs in aviation, life sciences, engineering, internationally-traded services and tourism.
It includes aims to increase by 25pc the number of start-ups in the region.
It also aims to attract more investment to the region over the next five years. IDA Ireland, for example, is aiming for a 30pc to 40pc uplift in projects to 66 investments by 2017.
The agency is planning to deliver a new IDA Advance Technology Building in Limerick in 2017.
The action plan also targets an 85pc increase in the value of agri-food exports by 2025 by supporting food start-ups to grow in scale and backing marketing efforts for the region’s food and beverages sector.
A goal worth fighting for
Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the mid-west suffered more than other regions during the financial crisis.
“Since the crisis began the [mid-west] region lost almost 25,000 jobs. It is only in the last couple of years that the tide has been turned with more than 4,000 new jobs added in the last year alone. This fuels our strong conviction that a region with as many strengths as the mid-west can, and will, grow more jobs.
“I am convinced that with the right support from Government through the Mid-West Plan, and by continuing the collaborative approach right across the region, we can deliver 23,000 extra jobs over the coming years. This would be 23,000 extra pay packets coming into communities and 23,000 lives back on track and get us back to a level of employment in the region ahead of that which existed at the end of 2007.
“That is a real challenge, but it is a goal well worth fighting for,” Bruton said.
River Shannon, Limerick, image via Shutterstock