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Government Publishes Third Annual Action Plan for Jobs
The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation recently published the Action Plan for Jobs 2014, the third annual instalment in the Government plan aimed at building a sustainable growing economy and creating jobs.

The Plan builds on the more than 500 measures already implemented through Action Plan for Jobs 2012 and 2013, and contains 385 actions to be implemented by all 16 Government Departments and 46 Agencies. Building on the 2013 Plan three new Disruptive Reform topics have been targeted in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Winning Overseas and Manufacturing.

The 2014 Plan aims to build on the significant progress which has occurred in job-creation since the first Action Plan was launched in February 2012, with more than 58,000 extra jobs added in the year to September 2013. According to Live Register figures, the unemployment rate has declined for 19 consecutive months, and has gone from 15.1% in February 2012 to 12.3% in January 2014.

Measures to be implemented during 2014 include:
  1. Entrepreneurship - a county-based public competition to find the best entrepreneur in Ireland with €2million in funding for awards; an Entrepreneurial PhD programme to train SFI scientists to launch their own businesses; 31 new Local Enterprise Offices to drive start-ups across the country and a review of tax supports for entrepreneurs to see if they can be improved or simplified.
  2. FDI - 10,000 additional jobs to be created through recruitment of extra staff for IDA Ireland overseas, additional jobs over and above existing strategies to be created in multinational companies in Ireland within 5 years; IDA to focus on new areas of growth including the 'internet of things'.
  3. Manufacturing - as part of a plan to create 40,000 additional manufacturing jobs by 2020, a programme of new measures to support productivity improvements and higher levels of R&D in Irish and multinational manufacturing businesses.
  4. Agencies - IDA, Enterprise Ireland and the new Local Enterprise Offices will together support a total of 30,500 direct new jobs during 2014. Enterprise Ireland clients to target €17.5billion in exports in 2014.
  5. Competitiveness - Ireland's competitiveness has improved steadily since the Action Plan for Jobs process was first launched, going from 24th in the IMD world competitiveness rankings in 2011 to 20th in 2012 and 17th in 2013 - measures to continue this drive include a new system of quarterly reporting to the Cabinet Committee on competitiveness issues and action on areas affecting business; measures on skills including 6000 Momentum places; reduced costs for businesses through rollout of the reformed Workplace Relations structures.
  6. Access to Finance - new non-bank sources of lending to SMEs to add to the €2billion already available including new working capital products for exporters and a retail mini bonds market via the Irish Stock Exchange; Dept of Finance will more closely monitor new bank lending to SMEs on a monthly basis.
  7. Regions - Regional Enterprise Strategies, proposals for a successor to the National Spatial Strategy, an IDA programme of building advance facilities in specific locations where the private sector is not providing property solutions.
  8. Sectors - new supports to deliver continued jobs growth in sectors such as Agriculture/Food, ICT and Tourism which have been supported in previous Plans and have shown substantial growth in jobs; new focus on domestically-traded sectors also including retail and construction.
  9. Year of Irish Design 2015 - as part of a plan to target 1800 additional jobs in the design and crafts sector in the medium term, the Government today announced that it will designate 2015 the Year of Irish Design. Planning will take place throughout 2014 for a national and international programme of activities to take place during 2015 in order to encourage more investment in design and to sustain and grow employment opportunities, sales and export potential in the design sector.
  10. Disruptive reforms - a total of 9 Disruptive Reforms (high-impact measures implemented to ambitious timelines in partnership with industry), further measures following on from 2013 plan in key areas of ICT skills, Big Data, delivering an integrated licensing system for retailers and the National Health Innovation Hub.
The full Action Plan for Jobs 2014 and the Table of Actions can be seen at

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