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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 195-209
 Header Item Coastal Protection
 Header Item Public Sector Staff
 Header Item Teachers' Remuneration
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards Data
 Header Item Flood Risk Insurance Cover
 Header Item Job Creation
 Header Item Unemployment Levels
 Header Item Renewable Energy Projects
 Header Item Employment Rights
 Header Item Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
 Header Item Trade Relations
 Header Item Health and Safety Regulations
 Header Item Small and Medium Enterprises Supports
 Header Item Job Creation Data
 Header Item Job Losses

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 905 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 84 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 195-209

Coastal Protection

 195. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the status of a sea wall (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3955/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris It is a matter for Kerry County Council (KCC) in the first instance to investigate and address issues of coastal protection and flooding at the location indicated. KCC was allocated €1.227m by the Government in February 2014 to carry out repair works to coastal protection infrastructure damaged in the severe storms which affected the country in late 2013 and early 2014. A further allocation of €16,000 was made to KCC in October 2015 for storm damage repairs.

No works were included by KCC in its submitted and agreed programme of storm damage repair works for a project to repair a sea wall at Fenit Island.

KCC may carry out any necessary works to the damaged sea wall using its own resources. It is open to the Council also to submit an application for funding if necessary under the Office of Public Works (OPW) Minor Flood Mitigation Works & Coastal Protection Scheme. Any application received will be assessed under the scheme's eligibility criteria which includes a requirement that any measures are cost beneficial, and having regard to the overall availability of funding.

Public Sector Staff

 196. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding a transfer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4138/16]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin Circular 21/2004 covers the agreement on incremental credit for entry level grades (Clerical Officer, Executive Officer, or equivalent grades) represented by the Civil and Public Services Union and the Public Service Executive Union. In this case the maximum entitlement was seven increments as the candidate had ten years or more qualifying service.

The two circulars referred to in the additional correspondence do not apply in this case. Circular 40/2007 relates to grades represented by IMPACT and the upper limit of seven increments also applies. Circular F33/02 would only apply to increment credit to officers at Grade III and analogous grades in the Department covered by that circular. 

I would point out that in the context of Action 15 of the Civil Service Renewal Plan, it was decided to review the current policy relating to the starting pay of appointees from elsewhere in the public service, to the Civil Service. This has resulted in a change effective from 30 November 2015 and provides for the assimilation of their current pay on the same basis as a civil servant at a point no greater than the max of the pay-scale.  

Teachers' Remuneration

 197. Deputy Derek Nolan Information on Derek Nolan Zoom on Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will amend the incremental payment procedure in order that a second level teacher who retires before July 2018, and who has had increments postponed by financial emergency measures in the public interest legislation, will be permitted to have them calculated in the pension lump sum and the annual pension payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4153/16]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 3607/16 of 28 January 2016. 

Appointments to State Boards Data

 198. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the details of appointments to State boards, by name of appointee, date of appointment and appointment through a public application process or otherwise, from 7 March 2011 to date; the number of vacancies on State boards under his remit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4622/16]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin As the Deputy is aware the Government introduced new arrangements to the appointment of State Board members in 2011. Under the new arrangements departments now invite expressions of interest from the public on their websites for vacancies on the boards of bodies under their aegis. It is open to all members of the public regardless of gender, political affiliations or geographical location to apply for appointment to these vacancies.

   An Post National Lottery Board

  In the context of the sale of the National Lottery licence I considered it appropriate to reappoint two of the Ministerial nominees to the Board; Mr. Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh was reappointed twice and Mr. Oliver Wilkinson was reappointed once in light of the disposal of the National Lottery licence. Consequently recourse to advertising the positions publicly did not arise.

NameReappointedVacancy Advertised
Donal Connell (Chair)29.02.12, 01.07.13No
Dermot Griffin06.11.12, 01.07.13No
Caroline Murphy06.11.13No
Oliver Wilkinson06.11.13No
Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh06.11.12, 01.07.13No
Peter Quinn16.02.12, 01.07.13No



  The Public Appointments Service Board
NameAppointedReappointedVacancy Advertised
Eddie Sullivan (Chair) 01.09.11Official nominee of the Department of Finance - previous member reappointed (Public Official)
Des Dowling*01.09.11 Official nominee of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (Public Official)
Dave Walsh01.07.13 Replacement for Des Dowling who transferred departments (Public Official)
John McCarthy01.09.13 Replacement for Dave Walsh who transferred internally (Public Official)
Dr. Deirdre O'Keeffe*01.09.1109.10.14Official nominee of the Department of Justice and Equality (Public Official)
Patricia Coleman*01.09.11 Official nominee of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Public Official)
William Beausang15.07.13 Replacement for Patricia Coleman who transferred internally (Public Official)
Judith Eve*01.09.1109.10.14Former Northern Ireland Civil Service Commissioner appointed as chair on 09.10.14)
Eddie Molloy*01.09.1109.10.14Management Consultant
Dan Murphy01.09.11 ICTU nominee previous member was appointed
Bryan Andrews01.09.11 Holds office on ex officio basis (Public Official)
Fiona Tierney20.03.1209.10.14Holds office on ex officio basis, current CEO (Public Official)
Sean McGrath*01.09.11 Official nominee  of the National Director of HR, HSE (Public Official)
Barry O'Brien01.09.1209.10.14Official nominee of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform replacement for Sean McGrath who resigned his post (Public Official)
Paul Lemass*09.10.14 Official nominee of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (Public Official)
Anne Marie Taylor09.10.14 Yes HR Consultant
Eimear Kenny09.10.14 Yes Senior HR Executive
Oonagh McPhillips*01.07.15 Replacement for Dr. O'Keeffe who transferred departments (Public Official)
Damien McCallion*01.07.15 Replacement for Barry O'Brien (Public Official)
David Cagney*22.09.15 Official nominee of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform replacement for William Beausang (Public Official)


  *The Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 states that the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in consultation with the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, the Minister for Health and the Minister for Justice and Equality should appoint members of the Board of the Public Appointments Service. The Board is meant to be representative of our client base.

  The Act also specifics that in appointing members of the Board the Minister shall ensure that at least two of them have either or both civil and other public service experience and knowledge and two of them have expertise in human resource management, customer service and recruitment outside the public service that the Minister considers relevant.

  Currently there are no vacancies on the Public Appointments Service Board.

  The Institute of Public Administration (IPA)

  The IPA has a representative board with nominations from different sectors of the public service every two years. As per the Memorandum and Articles of Association governing the IPA, each of the nominating bodies/sectors is invited by letter to nominate its representative to the Board on a two-yearly basis and my Department has one such representative.

Flood Risk Insurance Cover

 199. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the actions he is taking to assist the residents in Glounthaune in County Cork who have had remedial works carried out to secure flood insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4628/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Simon Harris): Information on Simon Harris Zoom on Simon Harris While I am advised that Office of Public Works (OPW) is not aware of remedial works referred to by the Deputy in Glouthuane, Co. Cork, any person with an insurance-related query or complaint can contact Insurance Ireland's Insurance Information Service (01 676 1914 or iis@insuranceireland.eu). In addition, the Financial Services Ombudsman deals independently with unresolved complaints from consumers about their individual dealings with all financial service providers.

  Investigation of flooding, in the first instance, is a matter for each Local Authority to investigate and address. Cork County Council may carry out flood mitigation works using its own resources. The Council may also apply to the OPW for funding of flood mitigation works under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. The purpose of this scheme is to provide funding to Local Authorities to undertake minor works to address localised flooding and coastal protection problems within their administrative areas. The scheme generally applies to relatively straightforward cases where a solution can be readily identified and achieved in a short time frame. Details of this scheme are published on the OPW website www.opw.ie. The OPW has no record of any applications under this scheme from Cork County Council for funding for Glounthane.

Job Creation

 200. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his projections for reducing the long-term unemployment numbers and rate in the period to 2020, by year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3968/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Enterprise 2025 sets out the potential to reach 2.18 million in employment and reduce the overall unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2020. This is based on the premise of export led growth and the additional indirect jobs stimulated by the activities of exporting enterprises in the wider economy. The ambition is predicated on taking the actions set out in Enterprise 2025 which are focused on supporting the productive sector, enhancing our relative competitiveness, leveraging existing comparative advantage in key sectors, addressing structural issues in the economy, improving productivity and the capacity of enterprises to innovate. Enterprise 2025 is a whole of enterprise strategy that leverages the potential across all sectors of the economy in manufacturing and services activities, both exporting and domestically oriented. The Government’s efforts will be on achieving a step change in enterprise performance across the whole enterprise base.

  With the economy recovering and employment on the increase, meeting the skills needs of enterprises will be a critical factor to enable companies to expand and grow in both domestic markets and export markets. We have placed a strong focus on ensuring an adequate supply of skills and talent as part of the whole of Government Action Plan for Jobs process since 2012.

  Aligned and in parallel with the Action Plan for Jobs process, the Government published the new Pathways to Work 2016-2018 (PTW) earlier this month. The new programme has two main objectives:

- Continue and consolidate the progress made to date with an initial focus on working with unemployed jobseekers, in particular those who are long-term unemployed; and    

- Extend the approach of labour market activation to other people who, although not classified as unemployed jobseekers, have the potential and the desire to play an active role in the labour force.

  The overall target in relation to long-term unemployed is to move 50,000 long-term unemployed at the start of 2016 into employment by the end of 2020.

  In addition, PTW aims to reduce the persistence rate (the rate at which short term unemployed people become long term unemployed) by 25 percent from 27 percent to 20 percent by the end of 2018 (24 percent by end of 2016). It also aims to increase the exit rate of people on the Live Register for two years or more by 30 percent (to 52 percent) by the end of 2018 (44 percent by end of 2016), and to fully implement the JobPath programme and refer at least 60,000 long term unemployed people to JobPath in 2016.

  The skills requirements of the economy are identified and met in a number of ways. The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs plays a key role in advising the Government on current and future skills needs of the economy and feeds these findings into the education and training sector. The Group comprises representatives from relevant Government Departments and agencies, as well as from enterprise, workers and education and training providers. The Department of Education and Skills has recently launched Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025. Amongst the key objectives are to provide skills development opportunities that are relevant to the needs of learners, society and the economy, and to place a specific focus on active inclusion to support participation in education and training and the labour market.

Unemployment Levels

 201. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the timeline for attaining a national unemployment rate below 6%; by year, from 2016 to 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3969/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Enterprise 2025 sets out the potential to reach 2.180 million in employment and an overall unemployment rate of 6 percent by 2020. Based on a 2014 baseline, Enterprise 2025 envisages an additional 266,000 people in employment by 2020. This is based on the premise of export led growth and the additional indirect jobs stimulated by the activities of exporting enterprises in the wider economy. Annualised targets have not been set out in the strategy.

The ambition is predicated on taking the actions set out in Enterprise 2025 which are focused on supporting the productive sector, enhancing our relative competitiveness, leveraging existing comparative advantage in key sectors, addressing structural issues in the economy, improving productivity and the capacity of enterprises to innovate. Enterprise 2025 is complemented by the Pathways to Work (PtW) strategy 2016-2020 that that reflects a shift in focus from ‘activation in a time of recession’ to ‘activation in a time of recovery and growth’. PtW involves maintaining a priority focus on addressing the young and long term unemployed and also aims to increase labour market participation and employment progression of people who are not currently active in the labour market.

In addition, the Action Plan for Jobs sets out a more detailed annualised programme of action aimed at achieving the 2020 ambition and is subject to ongoing monitoring in term of delivery of actions and resulting impact. The Regional Action Plans that have been launched over recent months aim to ensure that we realise employment growth throughout the country, leveraging the assets and potential of each and every region in Ireland.

Through coordinated action across Government and strong alignment across relevant strategies we have ensured a commitment and strong focus on job creation, on reducing unemployment and on realising our ambition for sustainable growth over the coming decade.

Renewable Energy Projects

 202. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding employment opportunities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4150/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Enterprise 2025 sets out the potential to reach 2.180 million in employment and an overall unemployment rate of 6 percent by 2020. Based on a 2014 baseline, Enterprise 2025 envisages an additional 266,000 people in employment by 2020. This is based on the premise of export led growth and the additional indirect jobs stimulated by the activities of exporting enterprises in the wider economy.

Enterprise 2025 sets out a range of sectors where there is potential for employment growth, including in green technologies and renewable energy. Specifically, the Government is committed to taking policy actions to achieve our EU commitments and to leverage our natural resources by 2030. Enterprise 2025 sets out actions to grow jobs by building on our many advantages and enhancing our reputation internationally as a sustainable and green economy: through enhancing our RD&I capabilities and stimulating start-ups and growth in green/clean technology enterprises; through stimulating increased focus by enterprises on investing in improving energy efficiencies and minimising waste; ensuring mechanisms to realise the potential from investment in energy sourced from renewables are efficient and effective; and, progressing smart city-region initiatives that leverages ICT capabilities, as set out in the recent Dublin Action Plan for Jobs.

The energy sector is set for a period of revolution and rapid growth as industry and society moves towards a low carbon economy. This drive for a low carbon economy poses a series of challenges for industry and society but also provides many economic and social opportunities. We are adopting a cluster approach to the development and deployment of energy products and services to assist in the transition to a low carbon economy and to grow export and investment opportunities. The development of Ireland as Europe’s Energy Innovation Hub was a Disruptive Reform in the 2014 Action Plan for Jobs and seeks to build on our existing strengths and transformation in energy markets internationally, so that Ireland leads in the development of innovative products and services along the energy value chain and enables the transition to a low carbon economy. To deliver on this ambition, an Inter-Departmental Committee, co-chaired by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources was established in 2015 and has developed a value proposition for Ireland as Europe’s Energy Innovation Hub and a corresponding brochure. Underpinning this is the creation of a one-stop portal of national assets and infrastructure, energy related enterprises and innovators and research activities. The portal on Ocean Energy and Smart Grid are now complete with the focus now shifting to energy efficiency and renewable technologies.

The Government has also published our new Energy White Paper, Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future, in December 2015, which sets out a framework to guide policy to deliver a low carbon future between now and 2030. Improving energy efficiency is a critical element of the transition. During 2016, we will continue to deliver a range of actions under the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan to enable us to meet our 2020 targets.

In addition, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland will work with enterprise, the development agencies and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to realise the potential for enterprise and jobs growth identified in its report Ireland’s Sustainable Energy Supply Chain Opportunity, by addressing barriers to supply chain growth in the sector, fostering growth by developing local capacity to capture export opportunities, assisting a favourable environment for FDI and to harness the job creation potential of the energy sector towards our target of sustainable full employment.

Employment Rights

 203. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding permanent contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4173/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Gerald Nash): Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot provide legal advice in relation to an individual’s employment rights situation but I can provide general information that I hope will be of assistance. The Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003 provides that a fixed-term contract employee shall not be treated less favourably than a comparable permanent employee in respect of conditions of employment including pay and pensions. In addition, the Act provides that in the case of a fixed-term employee recruited after the enactment of the Act, if he or she is employed by his or her employer or associated employer on two or more continuous fixed-term contracts, the aggregate duration of such contracts shall not exceed four years after which, if the contract is renewed again, it is deemed to be a contract of indefinite duration unless the employer has objective grounds for renewing the contracts again on a fixed-term basis.

  The terms of the 2003 Act are applicable in both the private and the public sectors with the exception, in the case of the public sector, of a small number of categories of employees. If a fixed-term employee feels that he or she is being treated less favourably as regards conditions of employment, or if he or she is entitled to a contract of indefinite duration and if his or her employer refuses to concede this, it is open to him or her to refer the matter by way of complaint to the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) for adjudication. I am satisfied that the protections afforded employees under the terms of the 2003 Act remain relevant.

  The WRC is an independent, statutory body which was established on 1 October 2015 under the Workplace Relations Act 2015 (No. 16 of 2015). It assumes the roles and functions previously carried out by the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA), Equality Tribunal, Labour Relations Commission, Rights Commissioners Service, and the first-instance (Complaints and Referrals) functions of the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The Workplace Relations Customer Service and Information Unit provides information on employment, equality and industrial relations legislation, and can be contacted at Lo-call 1890 80 80 90 or via its website www.workplacerelations.ie. A complaint may be made using the Workplace Relations e-Complaint Form available on the website.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

 204. Deputy Seán Kenny Information on Seán Kenny Zoom on Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the status of the discussions on the free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States of America; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4269/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The eleventh formal round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations took place from the 19–23rOctober, 2015 and a summary of the state of play of the negotiations after that round is available on the European Commission’s website at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/november/tradoc_153935.pdf. During this round, negotiators discussed all three pillars of the proposed agreement namely market access for EU and US companies, regulatory cooperation and trade rules.

  There was substantial progress on market access for EU and US companies in all three areas, including tariffs, services and public procurement. A second tariff offer covering trade in goods was exchanged and both sides have now arrived at a level of proposal covering 97% of tariff lines. This will assist and benefit further the negotiations. Both sides agreed on a merged text of their initial proposals on horizontal rules and principles governing product-specific rules of origin. Progress was made on further consolidating the textual proposals and on the general text on trade in goods. Discussions also took place on texts on agricultural market access. There was also discussion in relation to public procurement and it is envisaged that there will be an exchange of market access proposals on public procurement at the next formal round.

  All regulatory issues were discussed during this round, including the three horizontal chapters on regulatory cooperation, technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS), along with the nine industry specific sectors. Technical progress was made in most areas, though significant work remains ahead. The negotiations also provided an opportunity to clarify some of the main principles of regulatory cooperation. These included the fact that any cooperation is possible only if the level of protection for consumers stays the same or improves and any form of regulatory cooperation will not change or affect the EU regulatory and democratic process.

  The third pillar of the negotiation is dedicated to “Rules” and addresses shared trade related issues in areas such as competition between private and public firms, sustainable development, intellectual property rights including geographical indicators, SME’s, trade in raw materials and energy and investment. During the 11 round of negotiations discussions took place on all of these topics. The EU presented its first legal textual proposal for a chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development, including labour and the environment, which covers conservation, sustainable management of resources, wildlife, forestry and fisheries. The European Commission published this proposal on its website on 6 November 2015.

  On the 12 November 2015, the EU Commission published and formally presented to the US its proposal for a new and more transparent system for resolving disputes between investors and states – the Investment Court System. This proposal is the outcome of a lengthy public consultation process with the Member States, the European Parliament, stakeholders and the public. The Commission’s proposal aims at safeguarding Government’s right to regulate and creates a new system composed of a first instance tribunal and an appeal mechanism based on clearly defined rules, with qualified judges and transparent proceedings.

  An EU-US agreement would be the world’s largest bilateral trade and investment deal, and a successful conclusion is expected to benefit Ireland more than any other EU Member State. Owing to our position as a small open economy, Ireland’s enterprises are particularly well placed to take up opportunities to trade more easily with the US. The key findings of the Copenhagen Economics study, published on the 27 March 2015, are very positive for Ireland indicating a potential impact on the Irish economy of 1.1% increase in GDP. The Irish Economy could grow by 2 billion euros or double the impact on the EU overall. The report suggests a growth in exports of 3.8%, an increase in real wages of 1.5% and an additional 5,000-10,000 export related jobs could be created.

  During a Dáil debate on the EU-US free trade negotiations on the 21 January 2016, I announced that a Reading Room will open in my Department in Kildare St. and the consolidated texts of the EU-US agreement will be made available to Oireachtas members. This follows on an agreement on a Protocol between the EU Commission and the US on increasing access to parliamentarians in addition to designated officials

  The next formal round for the EU-US free trade negotiations will take place during the week of the 22–26 February 2016.

Trade Relations

 205. Deputy Seán Kenny Information on Seán Kenny Zoom on Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the level of trade between Norway and Ireland in each of the years 2013 to 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4270/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The latest year for which full trade figures (goods and services) are available is 2014. These show that total trade between Ireland and Norway in 2014 amounted to €2.6 billion. This comprises €1.5 billion in exports and €1.1 billion in imports. Details are set out below. In 2014, goods exports to Norway amounted to €320 million while services exports amounted to €1.2 billion. The principal goods exported to Norway from Ireland in 2014 were Metalliferous ores & metal scrap; Essential oils & perfume materials and Medical and pharmaceutical products. In 2014, Ireland’s principal imports from Norway were Petroleum & petroleum products. Disaggregated data is not available in respect of services.

  Enterprise Ireland (EI) client company exports to Norway have been in the region of €100 million per annum over the last two years. EI market advisers work with their client companies to find a tailored solution, through a range of services, to help them access the market or accelerate their growth in Norway.   

  Norway is our 34 largest export market for goods and the 17 largest for Services.

  Goods Trade, Ireland- Norway

YearExports

(€m)
Imports

(€m)
20133451,103
2014320938
Jan-Nov 2014295855
Jan-Nov 20152751,131


  Services Trade, Ireland – Norway
YearExports

(€m)
Imports

(€m)
2012891153
20131,151163
20141,211124

Health and Safety Regulations

 206. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to support a matter (details supplied) regarding health and safety legislation in relation to asbestos; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4314/16]

Minister of State at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Gerald Nash): Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash The provisions of occupational safety and health legislation on the control of asbestos apply with respect to the protection of workers at their place of work and are primarily focused upon prevention. The requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 (No. 10 of 2005) and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007 to 2016 apply and must be considered with respect to the protection of workers at the place of work. In addition, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations 2006 and 2010, which are enforced by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), place obligations on employers and employees to ensure that the risk of exposure to asbestos is eliminated or reduced to a minimum and that any remaining residual risk is adequately controlled in accordance with the legislation. The 2006 and 2010 Asbestos Regulations provide for the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work, the health surveillance of employees where exposure has occurred and for the maintenance of an occupational health register in relevant employments.

  The statutory obligation to organise preventive health care rests with the employer. Health surveillance is accordingly required where workplace conditions increase the likelihood of employees becoming susceptible to a disease associated with a particular substance in use (e.g. asbestos and cancer), and where it is possible to detect the disease or any adverse change and reduce the risk of further harm.

  Employers must establish and maintain an occupational health register for all employees who undertake asbestos work activities and this register must be maintained for a minimum of forty years following the end of any individual’s exposure.

  In the case of the inquiry made by the Deputy, contact should be made by the individual with his former employer regarding any exposure encountered during the course of his employment that may be recorded in the occupational health register. The employer is required to make access to the occupational health register available upon reasonable notice to an employee or his/her representative.

  The presence of asbestosis within the wider community is a public health matter, and the issue of injury benefit for people who contracted a prescribed occupational disease (such as asbestosis) falls under the remit of the Minister for Social Protection.

Small and Medium Enterprises Supports

 207. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton to outline supports for small businesses especially in small stores (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4315/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are the ‘first-stop-shop’ State support service for micro and small businesses in each local area. The LEOs provide advice and direction, covering all government supports and requirements, to anyone who wishes to start or expand a business. They can also provide funding for projects that meet certain criteria, generally with regard to export potential, and other non-financial supports such as training and mentoring.

In addition, any business can use the LEOs to help them to access finance from Micro Finance Ireland (MFI), which offers loans of up to €25,000 to start-up, newly established or growing microenterprises (employing less than 10 people) with viable business propositions that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by the banks. Applications for the Microfinance Fund should be channelled through the local LEO. Further information is available on the LEO website at

www.localenterprise.ie.

  Businesses can also access the ‘Supporting SMEs’ online search tool that was launched last year. By answering eight questions, a small business will be able to:

  -Find out which of the over 80 Government business supports from 27 different Government Departments, Agencies and Initiatives are available to them;

  -obtain information on the range of Government supports for accessing credit;

  -identify their nearest Local Enterprise Office where they can discuss the outcomes of the guide further;

  -download all these filtered results into a document for their further use.

  The ‘Supporting SMEs’ Online Tool is available at: www.actionplanforjobs.ie.

  For enterprises in the Dublin City Council area the contact details for the LEO Dublin City are: Civic Offices, Block 4, Floor 1, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Tel: 01 222 5611, email: info@leo.dublincity.ie.

Job Creation Data

 208. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of jobs created by companies supported by Enterprise Ireland in County Cavan and in County Monaghan in each of the past ten years, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4369/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Enterprise Ireland recently reported the creation of 21,118 new jobs by client companies in 2015. This translates into a net increase of 10,169 jobs for 2015 (taking account of job losses) in Enterprise Ireland supported businesses and brings total employment in these companies to 192,223 - a record high for the agency. Almost two thirds of the new jobs created were outside Dublin and all of the regions recorded increases in full-time employment over the period. Enterprise Ireland attributes this strong, mainly export led, job creation by Irish businesses to an improving entrepreneurial climate for start-ups, dynamic Irish companies innovating and scaling up in key sectors such as food, financial technology and business process outsourcing and improving international economic conditions.

  Employment data for Enterprise Ireland is collected annually as part of my Department’s Annual Employment Survey which measures the number of jobs in Agency assisted client companies on the 31 October in a given year.

  I attach a breakdown of jobs created by companies supported by Enterprise Ireland in County Cavan and in County Monaghan in each of the past ten years.

  It should be noted that this data is part of an active time series.

CountyCategory2006200720082009201020112012201320142015
CavanNo. of Plants102100100101969087777978
CavanPFT Jobs4,5384,6404,5923,9943,9223,9353,8643,7324,0324,222
CavanPFT Gains43025532598194636240120397287
CavanPFT Losses-710-153-373-696-266-623-311-252-97-97
CavanPFT Change-280102-48-598-7213-71-132300190
CavanOther Jobs153174159181281331388454511683
            
MonaghanNo. of Plants142143144147139125120113109107
MonaghanPFT Jobs5,0215,0134,4753,6393,5833,6643,7663,9174,1284,431
MonaghanPFT Gains53533738785263392317395369376
MonaghanPFT Losses-266-345-925-921-319-311-215-244-158-73
MonaghanPFT Change269-8-538-836-5681102151211303
MonaghanOther Jobs213233222239309352360371371388

Job Losses

 209. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of jobs lost in companies supported by Enterprise Ireland in County Cavan and in County Monaghan in each of the past ten years, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4370/16]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Enterprise Ireland recently reported the creation of 21,118 new jobs by client companies in 2015. This translates into a net increase of 10,169 jobs for 2015 (taking account of job losses) in Enterprise Ireland supported businesses and brings total employment in these companies to 192,223 - a record high for the agency. Almost two thirds of the new jobs created were outside Dublin and all of the regions recorded increases in full-time employment over the period. Enterprise Ireland attributes this strong, mainly export led, job creation by Irish businesses to an improving entrepreneurial climate for start-ups, dynamic Irish companies innovating and scaling up in key sectors such as food, financial technology and business process outsourcing and improving international economic conditions.

  Employment data for Enterprise Ireland is collected annually as part of my Department’s Annual Employment Survey which measures the number of jobs in Agency assisted client companies on the 31 October in a given year.

  I attach a breakdown of jobs created by companies supported by Enterprise Ireland in County Cavan and in County Monaghan in each of the past ten years.

  It should be noted that this data is part of an active time series.

CountyCategory
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
CavanNo. of Plants
102
100
100
101
96
90
87
77
79
78
CavanPFT Jobs
4,538
4,640
4,592
3,994
3,922
3,935
3,864
3,732
4,032
4,222
CavanPFT Gains
430
255
325
98
194
636
240
120
397
287
CavanPFT Losses
-710
-153
-373
-696
-266
-623
-311
-252
-97
-97
CavanPFT Change
-280
102
-48
-598
-72
13
-71
-132
300
190
CavanOther Jobs
153
174
159
181
281
331
388
454
511
683
MonaghanNo. of Plants
142
143
144
147
139
125
120
113
109
107
MonaghanPFT Jobs
5,021
5,013
4,475
3,639
3,583
3,664
3,766
3,917
4,128
4,431
MonaghanPFT Gains
535
337
387
85
263
392
317
395
369
376
MonaghanPFT Losses
-266
-345
-925
-921
-319
-311
-215
-244
-158
-73
MonaghanPFT Change
269
-8
-538
-836
-56
81
102
151
211
303
MonaghanOther Jobs
213
233
222
239
309
352
360
371
371
388


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