The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today [ December 2016] published the first progress reports of the eight Regional Action Plans for Jobs. The progress reports were prepared by the Regional Implementation Committees established to oversee and monitor implementation of the measures contained in the Plans. The reports outline progress made on measures due for completion up to and including the first half of 2016, as well as progress made on measures that are ongoing during the period of the Action Plans.
According to the Minister, “A key objective of the Regional Plan initiative is to have a further 10 to 15 per cent at work in each region by 2020, with the aim of having the unemployment rate of each region within one per cent of the national average. While at an early stage, the progress reports reflect the good work made to date in the implementation of all 8 Regional APJs and creating a supportive environment for jobs growth in the regions.”
“The Plans have been embraced within the regions and completion rates for actions within the first Progress Reports are in excess of 90% for each region. Collaboration between the private and the public sector has been a core element in each plan’s development, and will be central to each plan’s delivery. Based on current data, all regions are on target to meet or exceed the job targets to be delivered by 2020.”
The Minister added, “The success of the Regional Action Plans for Jobs is crucial to the Government in meeting the ambition to create an additional 200,000 jobs, 135,000 of which are outside the Dublin region, by 2020. Overall, Employment in the State has been growing continuously for 16 quarters now and over the past year employment has grown in all regions, with 72% of all jobs created outside Dublin.”
According to the Minister, employment growth in the year to date is particularly strong in the South West (up 4.4%), the South East (up 3.7%) and the Mid East (up 3.6%).
However, further efforts to drive jobs growth are required in some regions. The unemployment rate of four of the regions (Midlands: 10.1%; West 9.1%; South East: 10.4% and Border 9.2%) remains at least 1% above the State average of 8%. A continued focus on productive collaboration is required in these regions to ensure that they achieve their economic potential.
The Minister said: “External shocks, such as Brexit, have the potential to impact on regional job delivery in the future. However, the Plans are flexible and dynamic and can be adapted to address Brexit challenges and opportunities arising within the regions. In this context, Brexit remains a standing item on the agenda for the meetings of all Regional APJ Implementation Committees.”
The Minister concluded, “To support the regional jobs agenda, I have ensured that additional funds will be made available through the enterprise development agencies on a rolling basis out to 2020.
Last June, I announced an initial allocation of €5m in competitive funding for 48 local and regional initiatives under two of these calls. All regions benefited under this initiative.
In addition, as part of this process, my Department and Enterprise Ireland are currently finalising plans for
- a €40m regional funding initiative in respect of a large scale fund aimed at supporting significant innovative and collaborative projects and activities, and
- a further €5m competitive regional fund initiative to support the development of community-based enterprises and networks that have the potential to grow and sustain jobs in their area.
Both funds will be rolled out in Q1 2017.
In addition, €150m is being made available to the IDA to support its Regional Property Programme and drive job creation in the multinational sector.”
Work on the preparation of the second Progress Reports, covering the period to end-December 2016, is currently underway in the regions.
Copies of all reports can be downloaded from: https://www.djei.ie/en/What-We-Do/Business-Sectoral-Initiatives/Regional-Action-Plans-for-Jobs/
Midlands APJ – Q1 2015 to Q2/3 2016
- Some 2,600 jobs were created in the Midlands from Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q2 2016, representing good progress towards the 14,000 target of 2020.
- The Q3 2016 unemployment rate for the Midland region has fallen by 1.5% to 10.1% in the last 6 months,.
- Overall implementation rate of Midlands actions is 99%.
South East APJ – Q1 2015 to Q2/3 2016
- Almost 12,000 jobs were created in the South East from Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q2 2016, representing excellent progress towards the 25,000 target of 2020.
- The Q3 2016 unemployment rate for the South East region currently stands at 10.4%, down from 12.5% in Q1.
- Overall implementation rate of South East APJ actions is 92%.
West APJ Q1 2015 to Q2/3 2016
- Some 6,200 jobs were created in the Border region from Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q2 2016, representing good progress towards the 28,000 target of 2020.
- The Q3 2016 unemployment rate for the North East/ North West region currently stands at 9.2%, up from 8.6% in Q1. Employment growth is slow in this region, with 600 jobs lost in the last 3 months
- Overall implementation rate of North East/North West APJ actions is 97%.
Dublin APJ – Q1 2015 to Q2/3 2016
- Over 32,600 jobs have been created in the Dublin region from Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q2 2016, representing excellent progress towards the 66,000 target of 2020.
- The latest Q3 2016 figures show an unemployment rate of 7.5%, which is below the State average of 8%.
- Overall implementation rate of Dublin APJ actions is 94%.
Mid East APJ Q1 2015 to Q2/3 2016
- Some 7,600 jobs were created in the Mid East region from Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q2 2016 , representing very good progress towards the 25,000 target of 2020
- The Q3 2016 unemployment rate for the Mid East region currently stands at 6.9%, unchanged from Q2 2016 but up from 5.9% in Q1 2016.
- Overall implementation rate of Mid East actions is 98%.
South West APJ Q1 2015 to Q2/3 2016
- From Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q2 2016, 7,600 were created in the South West, representing good progress towards the target of 40,000 by 2020
- The South West has experienced strong jobs growth and currently (Q3 2016) has an unemployment rate of 6.4%; well below the State Unemployment Rate of 8%.
Mid West APJ – Q1 2015 to Q2/3 2016
- From Q1 2015 (baseline year) to Q2 2016, 9,000 jobs were created in the Mid West, , representing very good progress towards the target of 23,000 by 2020
- The Mid West has experienced strong jobs growth, with a Q3 2016 unemployment rate of 7.4%; below the State Unemployment Rate of 8%
- Overall implementation rate of Mid West actions is 99%.