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Written Answers - Job Creation

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 125.  Deputy Ciara Conway Information on Ciara Conway Zoom on Ciara Conway  asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in view of Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton  the creation of more than 13,000 Industrial Development Agency supported jobs in 2011 announced by that agency earlier this month, and in view of the net increase of IDA supported jobs of 6,000 compared with 2010, the number of these new jobs that were created in County Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2997/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton In making his 2011 end of year statement, the Chief Executive Officer of IDA Ireland announced that IDA Ireland’s client companies created over 13,000 new jobs, up 20% on the previous year’s level of 10,897, increasing the total number of those employed by IDA client companies to almost 146,000. Overall there was a net employment increase of over 6,000.

IDA Ireland has informed me that there are 31 IDA Ireland supported client companies in County Waterford employing 5,196 people. 72 new jobs were created in Waterford in 2011.

One of the targets in IDA Ireland’s strategy document ‘Horizon 2020’ is the creation of 62,000 direct new jobs with 105,000 total jobs impact in Ireland over the period 2010-2014, with 50% of these investments to be based in locations outside of Dublin and Cork. Central to IDA’s strategy is to build on existing regional strengths to ensure Ireland’s economic development, while optimising regional spread, in line with the National Spatial Strategy.

IDA Ireland’s Strategy for the South East region is to market the region to overseas clients to acquire new greenfield investments, to work with existing clients by encouraging them to engage in transformation of their businesses and to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In recent years, the Agency has re-positioned the South East region as a knowledge-based industry centre, while marketing the Waterford Gateway as an investment location.

The implementation of this Strategy is resulting in employment creation in the region. Last June I announced that Mycroft Inc., the global innovation leader in delivering IT identity and security solutions, would be establishing an Operations Centre in Waterford with 50 employees. In October I officially opened a €150 million expansion of Genzyme’s Biotechnology Campus, which will greatly add to the South-East’s reputation as a valued location for foreign direct investment.

The South East Employment Action Plan, which I published last month, outlines the extent of IDA’s activities in seeking to attract additional investment to Waterford, drawing on the skill sets of the Talk Talk employees and the available facility, which is ready for use. IDA Ireland has assured me that it is targeting overseas companies based in Ireland, by bringing the existence of the vacant facility and its skilled workforce to their attention. The Agency has developed a prospectus on the Waterford facility, particularly focussing on the skill sets of the workforce, the structure of the facility and its suitability as a modern call centre, which has been circulated to IDA’s offices worldwide.

The global economy, and in particular the European economy, which is the primary target market for FDI clients in Ireland, is in a low growth phase. The challenge for IDA Ireland is [344]to win FDI in this low growth environment. In addition, the agency faces the challenge of intense international competition to win FDI, which is mainly dominated by Metro City Regions with populations in excess of 1 million people i.e. London, Manchester, Boston, Los Angeles etc. Ireland has one Metro Region, the Greater Dublin area, so in order to achieve balanced regional development, IDA focuses on marketing Gateway locations, such as Waterford. IDA Ireland also highlights the opportunities provided by Hub locations, which are within commuting distances of these Gateways, in addition to other locations as part of its marketing efforts and in response to specific client queries.

While the global outlook for foreign direct investment remains challenging, IDA Ireland has assured me that it will continue to compete vigorously for these projects and will continue to promote the South East Region and Waterford in line with the objectives set out in “Horizon 2020”.

Waterford also received a major jobs boost within the last week with the announcement that Eishtec, a Waterford-based company providing consumer contact centre services, is to create 250 new jobs by mid-2012 as part of a major new expansion at its new custom built facility situated at the Cleaboy Business Park. This investment is part funded by the Government through Enterprise Ireland. Recruitment for the new positions is currently under way.

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