Following the national Action Plan for Jobs model which has supported the creation of 100,000 additional jobs 21 months ahead of deadline, this week saw the launch of two of the first Regional Action Plans, the Midlands and the South West, set to be announced in the coming months.
In total there will be 8 regional Action Plans, all built to ensure that job creation happens across the country, focusing on the unique strengths of each region. In order for each plan to be delivered, a comprehensive implementation structure is being put in place. Once the plan is launched, deadlines and lead organisations are assigned in the case of each action, an Implementation Committee is being put in place, and Progress Reports implementation levels will be published every six months.
For all of these regional plans, the levels of employment growth actually achieved up to 2020 will depend on factors including the level of support and collaboration within the local community for the Plan, and the level of collaboration between organisations in the region and the main Government bodies involved in the plan. You can read more about the whole Action Plan for Jobs – Regional process here.
Action Plan for Jobs: Midland Region
Monday the 29th June 2015 saw the launch of The Midlands Action Plan for Jobs in Tullamore. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD; The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan TD; The Minister of State for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD; and The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation Damien English TD all spoke at the launch of the plan.
The Plan sets out ambitious targets to encourage growth and employment in the region, including a range of actions aimed at helping small businesses. The key target of the Action Plan is to create between 11,400 and 17,100 additional jobs in the region by 2020. That equates to employment growth of 10-15% over and above today’s employment levels.
Employment in the Midlands declined by 20,800 (16%) during the economic crash; since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in early 2012 jobs have grown in the region by 9,200 (9%). The Midlands region covers counties Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath and the key sectors targeted in the plan include manufacturing, tourism, food and energy.
What’s in the Midlands Plan?
Key actions in the Midlands Plan include:
- Establish a Midlands Manufacturing Technologies Campus
- New cycling, walking and other recreational trails along the waterways of the region
- Establish a Skills Forum to connect education providers in the region with the employers/industry in need of skilled workers
- Develop a Regional Energy Hub for the Midlands
- A series of actions to promote 25% more start-ups in the midlands, including extra funding, mentoring programmes and establishing new incubator spaces for entrepreneurs like The Junction in Tullamore
- A series of actions aimed at attracting at least 25 additional multinational investment projects to the region by 2019, including building two advance facilities for Athlone, appointing an IDA Regional Manager for the midlands and actions to ensure that key IDA personnel overseas have enhanced knowledge and marketing plans for the region
- A series of actions to support extra employment growth in the 1052 existing exporting companies within the midlands region, most of which are SMEs
You can view and download the full Midlands Action Plan for Jobs here.