Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, today stated that the Government Action Plan for Jobs 2017 addresses some of the new challenges arising from Brexit for the Irish economy and business, but that a clearer prioritisation of policy and resources will ultimately be needed from Government to help weather the Brexit storm.
Speaking after the launch of the new Plan, Ibec Director of Policy and Public Affairs Fergal O'Brien stated: "Since it's inception in 2012, the Action Plan for Jobs has successfully coordinated policy making across Government Departments to better address job creation. This has helped Irish businesses create over 200,000 new jobs over this period. The 2017 Plan again contains many good initiatives in areas such as the digital economy; vouchers to help business access design skills; workplace innovation; regional development and through the new export finance initiative. Ibec looks forward to working with Government to ensure strong business support and take-up of these initiatives.'
"It is also positive to see a number of actions targeted at increased regional employment growth in the Plan for 2017. The Dublin jobs market is currently performing extremely well, but it is important that this recovery is spread evenly across the country. While the initiatives targeted at the regions are useful and will support many local communities, the most effective way to ensure more regional development is through a step-change in the ambition for infrastructure investment. If we are to successfully address the challenges of Brexit, additional resources will be needed to support and protect the jobs at risk and to underpin competitiveness. A new report by the National Competitiveness Council also launched today has benchmarked Ireland's productivity performance for a 10 year period. Ibec supports the Council in calling on the Government to address productivity gaps across all sectors and regions of the Irish economy to increase jobs growth and improve our attractiveness as a location for FDI."