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Mid West Action Plan Regional Workshop Plots Way For Job Creation

Minister meets with region’s Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee in Dooradoyle, Limerick. Pictured: Ger Dollard, Clare County Council; Dr Orlaith Borthwick Regional Skills Forum Manager; Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick; Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; Barry O’Sullivan, Johnson; Mid West Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee; Dr Pat Daly, Limerick City and County Council; Pat Fitzgerald, Limerick City and County Council, Attracta Lyons, Tipperary County Council.
Photo: courtesy of Brian Gavin, Press 22.
The Minister for Jobs Innovation and Enterprise Mary Mitchell O’Connor has met with the Mid West Action Plan for Jobs Implementation Committee to discuss the future of the plan to deliver more jobs for the entire region.
A half-day workshop has taken place in Limerick with representatives of the state’s development agencies (IDA and Enterprise Ireland), local authorities (Clare County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Tipperary County Council), Education Bodies (Limerick Clare ETB, LIT, MIC, UL), the Limerick and Shannon Chambers of Commerce, and industry representatives from the Manufacturing, IT, Financial Services, Agrifood and Tourism sectors all taking part.
The government’s Action Plan for Jobs is an initiative where government and industry collaborate to improve the environment for enterprise to grow, and jobs to be created.
The purpose of the half-day workshop was to review achievements to date and to explore options for future initiatives.
Chairperson of the Implementation Committee Barry O’Sullivan from Johnson & Johnson outlined that the group’s priorities were to focus on issues within their control such as skills pool within the region and up-skilling of existing workforce; creating opportunities for all elements of the workforce; increasing female participation; enhancing rural enterprise and assisting in the provision of infrastructure such as office accommodation and quality broadband availability.
New opportunities in the areas of manufacturing, the internet of things, aviation, home working were discussed.
The Minister congratulated all parties on their achievements as part of the plan to date.  Minister Mitchell O’Connor pointed out that the Mid West:
  • The fastest growing region in the country outside of Dublin.
  • Unemployment levels are at 7.4% (below the national average) down from over 16% in 2012.
  • Close to 14,000 jobs have been created in the region since 2012.
  • The Mid West Local Enterprise Offices (LOE’s) have assisted in the creation of 731 jobs in the past year.
  • The collaborative approach adopted in the Mid West is now seen as the template for growth for the other regions.  
 The high prioritisation of development of skills for business has been the bedrock of the success to date.
Addressing the Committee, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “As a Government, we want to see that all regions, all cities, and towns, all communities in the country, are facilitated in achieving their economic and social potential.  I am delighted to witness here first hand the outstanding progress that is being made to grow employment in the Mid West, which really showcases what can be achieved through dedication and productive collaboration.”
“The Mid West Action Plan for Jobs set a target of creating 23,000 extra jobs in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary by 2020.  It’s fair to say that this region is already well on the way to achieving that target, with nearly 14,000 jobs created since the start of 2015.”
“These recent positive employment trends for the region are a credit to those in both the private and public sector, in small and large organisations, who are making it their business to improve the job environment in their local communities.“
She praised the work of the Committee and the commitment of people in the region, in ‘making the Mid West a magnet for business investment, talent, and tourism and providing people with the opportunity to stay and work in the region’.
Dr. Pat Daly, Director of Economic Development with Limerick City and County Council said: “Limerick City and County Council was delighted to host the meeting.  The event gave us an opportunity to take stock, look at the work we have done, and plot the way forward.  We were all very happy that Minister Mitchell O’Connor was present to hear the exciting plans that are happening in Limerick, as a key economic driver for the Mid West region.”
To find out more about the Mid West Action Plan click here 
To read more about jobs in Limerick click here

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.