Government Launches Midlands Action Plan

The Irish Government has today launched its plan to deliver 14,000 jobs to the Midlands region.

The Midlands Action Plan for Jobs aims to deliver 10-15% employment growth over the coming years.

The Plan is the first of eight regional job plans to be revealed.

The scheme is also part of a €250 million regional jobs strategy led by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton.

Counties Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath will be subject to the plan, targeting sectors including manufacturing, tourism, food and energy.

Actions to be delivered between 2015-2017 include:

• Establish a Midlands Manufacturing Technologies Campus.

• New cycling, walking and other recreational trails along the waterways of the region.

• Establish a Skills Forum to connect education providers in the region with the employers/industry in need of skilled workers.

• Develop a Regional Energy Hub for the Midlands.

• A series of actions to promote 25% more start-ups in the midlands, including extra funding, mentoring programmes and establishing new incubator spaces for entrepreneurs.

• A series of actions aimed at attracting at least 25 additional multinational investment projects to the region by 2019, including building two advance facilities for Athlone, appointing an IDA Regional Manager for the midlands and actions to ensure that IDA personnel overseas have knowledge and marketing plans for the region.

• A series of actions to support extra employment growth in the 1052 exporting companies within the midlands region, most of which are SMEs.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "This Action Plan is the first in a series of eight Regional Plans, all of which will help us to deliver a key priority for this Government - to create local jobs and secure local recovery.

"The Plan contains over 100 very tangible and time-bound actions which aim to create an additional 14,000 jobs in the region in the coming years."

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan said: "Now that the recovery is firmly taking root we need to ensure that the regions benefit from the economic turnaround."

"Action Plan for Jobs Midlands Region targets an increase in employment by 10-15% by 2020 is an important step towards full employment."


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