The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, said today that strong Enterprise Ireland (EI) and IDA regional job creation statistics announced this week show that there is a significant increase in job creation in our regions. While welcoming the progress made, Minister Ring was keen to emphasise the significant challenge that still exist in creating sustainable rural jobs.
Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency which supports Irish exporters, announced this week that 64% of the 10,309 EI supported new jobs created in 2017 were outside of Dublin. IDA figures released yesterday show significant IDA related job increases in mainly rural regions. The highest rate of growth of any region (including Dublin) was the south east, with a 9% increase in jobs supported by the IDA. Other mainly rural regions performed strongly including the west and mid-west which each had a 5% increase in IDA supported jobs.
Minister Ring said: “I am delighted by these figures which reflect an increasingly positive overall trend of increased job creation in our regions. In the early part of the economic recovery, job creation was skewed towards the capital. However, as this week’s figures show, regional job creation has grown significantly. This means less people having to commute long distances or having to relocate altogether in order to secure work. Figures from the CSO in September showed that four out of every five jobs created in the previous 12 months were outside of Dublin.
“It is particularly encouraging that the west, mid-west and northwest, saw the largest level of increases in EI supported job growth, at 7%. The level of export jobs created is a very good barometer of the strength of an economy so to see our regions performing so well in this respect is very positive from a rural perspective.”
Enterprise Ireland attributes this strong performance by Irish businesses to the continuing growth of an entrepreneurial climate for start-ups, allied to strong jobs growth in the Construction (8% increase), Engineering (8% increase), Lifesciences (8% increase), Digital Technology (6% increase), Electronics (6% increase), Food (4% increase) and ICT sectors (5% increase).
Minister Ring continued: “While it is encouraging that things are moving in the right direction in terms of regional job creation, there is no room for complacency and there is still much progress to be made. The Action Plan for Rural Development which I launched last year is committed to ensuring that the economic recovery is felt throughout Ireland and the creation of rural jobs is vital in order to achieve this.
“Much of the work of my Department has a strong job rural creation focus. For example, my Department is supporting rural job creation by investing in digital hubs in small and medium sized towns around Ireland. These hubs, which have high speed broadband, enable rural innovators and entrepreneurs to work in shared premises. Over 30 businesses are operating out of the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, which I visited recently and which my Department has allocated funding to.
“The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has put a significant amount of work into ensuring that the Action Plan for Jobs delivers for rural Ireland. Government agencies like Enterprise Ireland are working closely and effectively with local authorities, the Local Enterprise Offices and businesses to create regional jobs and the approach is bearing fruit. I welcome Minister Humphreys’ clear emphasis on supporting regional job creation and I look forward to sitting down with her to explore ways in which the Government can support further progress in this area which is so important to the future of rural Ireland.”