Minister Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, and Minister Charlie Flanagan TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade will today (Friday 20th November) have a number of private meetings in Laois with companies supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Laois Enterprise Office.
These company visits will take place after a lunchtime Action Plan for Jobs Business Forum which will be hosted by Minister Bruton and Minister Michael Noonan and chaired by Minister Flanagan.
The company visits take place following the publication of figures from the CSO showing that in the Midlands employment is up by 9% with an extra 14,400 at work since Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012. This makes the Midlands the third fastest-growing region in the country, behind only the South East and the Border.
In Laois the number of people signing on the Live Register has fallen by 13% while the numbers employed in companies supported by the Dept of Jobs through the Enterprise Agencies are up 2% in the last 12 months.
Commenting on the series of meetings, Minister Bruton said:
“I am looking forward to completing a series of enterprise and jobs-related events in Laois with Charlie Flanagan including the Action Plan for Jobs forum and visits to some great local Laois enterprises that are supported by my Department. These companies include Aubren, CJ Sheeran and Powerpoint Engineering.
“Employment is now growing in every region. The Midlands is performing strongly with 14,000 extra jobs in the past three years and in Laois, which has had a difficult number of years since the crash, jobs are now growing again.
“If we want to reach our goal of achieving full employment then we must accelerate jobs growth in every region, including the Midlands. That is why we have put in place the €250million regional jobs strategy, to support regions to play to their strengths and accelerate jobs growth in every area. I am convinced that with the right support from Government through the Midlands Plan, and by continuing the collaborative approach right across the midlands, we can deliver 14,000 extra jobs over the coming years. This would be 14,000 extra pay packets coming into communities and 14,000 lives back on track – a goal well worth fighting for. I am looking forward to meeting with Laois County Council, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office to discuss the implementation of the Midlands Plan”.
Minister Flanagan said:
“Laois suffered badly during the economic downturn. The county was heavily dependent on construction works and over 4,000 people lost their jobs in this sector during the downturn. As a government our job is to secure and spread recovery. I am very conscious that many people in Laois have suffered over the past number of years but I am heartened to see a 10.5% drop in unemployment in Laois during the period March 11-August 15”
“We should all unite in Laois and play to our strengths. Our connectivity, our ready work force, our close proximity to major urban areas and the leadership at local level makes Laois and ideal place to do business.”