The latest data from Enterprise Ireland shows that 25,130 people in County Cork are employed in Enterprise Ireland backed companies, Cork North West Fine Gael General Election candidate Councillor John Paul O’Shea has said.
Cllr. O’Shea said: “My colleague Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys and Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency responsible for developing Irish business globally has reported the creation of 16,971 new jobs by Enterprise Ireland supported companies in 2019.
“221,895 people are now employed in companies supported by the agency. This is the highest total employment in the 20-year history of the agency.
“65% of total employment by Enterprise Ireland backed companies is now outside of Dublin.
“Cleantech jobs grew by nine percent, Lifesciences jobs by six percent, Fintech by six percent, Electronics by five percent, ICT and international services by four percent, while jobs in the food sector grew by one percent, reflecting the uncertainty created by Brexit in 2019. The jobs growth translates into a net increase of 4,706 jobs created in 2019.
“In County Cork the number of people employed in Enterprise Ireland backed companies is 25,130.
“This is an increase of 45% since 2010.
“This comes at a time when more people are working that ever before, the unemployment rate currently stands at 4.8%.
“Nearly 220,000 total jobs have been created since the start of 2016. Also, more than 6 out of every 10 new jobs have been created outside of Dublin.
“Fine Gael is not being complacent about this progress however, and we have put in place Future Jobs Ireland, an all-of-Government plan to prepare Ireland for the digitalisation of the workforce.
“The Government is also continuing to prepare business for Brexit which will pose great challenges to businesses here across many sectors.
“Enterprise Ireland is continuing to work on a one-to-one basis with its exporting clients on Brexit planning. In 2018 and 2019, the agency approved funding of €125m to its most Brexit-exposed clients.”
Minister Humphreys said: “With the UK set to leave the EU in a few weeks, we will soon be entering into complex trade negotiations between Brussels and London. Ireland is coming to these talks in a strong position but there is still a lot of uncertainty and it would be a mistake to underestimate how challenging the process will be.
“Great progress has been made on Brexit preparedness by Enterprise Ireland clients so far – two-out-of-three have taken steps to reduce their dependency on the UK market, and €125m in funding and supports was approved for Enterprise Ireland’s most Brexit-exposed clients over the two-year period between 2018 and 2019.
“However, the hard work is only starting now, so I would strongly encourage businesses to stay vigilant and continue assessing their exposure in the coming period.
“The Government is here to help and we provide a wide range of supports to help you prepare. Only last Friday, I launched a new €28m Economic Stimulus Package for businesses in the border region to mitigate against the impacts of Brexit.”
“This strong regional performance is important because we cannot reach our full potential as a country without successful regions. It is for this reason that I have prioritised supporting regional enterprise as Minister and will continue to do so in 2020. Initiatives like the Regional Enterprise Development Fund and the Regional Enterprise Plans are making a real difference on the ground and I would urge businesses to take full advantage of them.”
Cllr. O’Shea added: “I was also pleased to see the publication of Enterprise Ireland’s 2020 Action Plan for Women in Business.
“The purpose of the plan is to increase levels of women-led businesses and women in strategic management positions to improve diversity.
“The plan outlines four objectives with 24 key actions to support the development of women leaders and managers. Actions include:
Offer increased one-to-one engagement to support women-led companies to effectively support growth ambitions and expansion into new global markets
Introduce a new grant for Enterprise Ireland supported companies to facilitate the recruitment of part time senior managers
Develop, support and promote a national network of role models to interact with and inspire future entrepreneurs
Issue a series of funding calls targeting women entrepreneurs and women researchers from third level institutions.
“Increased gender diversity in business is imperative if we are to achieve true gender equality in Ireland and if we are to ensure business have the best talent and best teams at their disposal,” Cllr. O’Shea concluded.