11 Mar 2019 | 10.45 am
Government Launches Future Jobs Policy
Measures promised to increase SME productivity
11 Mar 2019 | 10.45 am
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and ministers Heather Humphreys and Paschal Donohoe have launched Future Jobs Ireland 2019, billed as a whole-of-government framework for the next phase of Ireland’s economic development.
The policy document has five pillars:
- Embracing Innovation and Technological Change
- Improving SME Productivity
- Enhancing Skills and Developing and Attracting Talent
- Increasing Participation in the Workforce
- Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy
According to Varadkar: “I want Ireland to be a country that works to live, not lives to work. Businesses need to consider new ways of attracting and retaining talent through remote and flexible working options. So that people living in rural areas can work for Google, Facebook and Apple without having to commute to Cork City or Dublin. We need to see lifelong learning as the norm and we have committed to doubling our lifelong learning rate to 18% by 2025.
“Ireland is one of the most attractive places for Foreign Direct Investment. But the next phase of our national development should be Irish-owned SMEs succeeding at home and then going global.”
Varadkar added that Future Jobs Ireland 2019 will include initiatives such as:
• a national consultation on the extension of flexible working options to all employees and commencing a strategy for remote working
• developing a public service to assist people returning to work, particularly mothers
• incentivising employers to provide early learning and care facilities
• reviewing income tax arrangements for second earners to incentivise people to return to work
• encouraging employers to use all the available talent through greater employment of underrepresented groups of people e.g. those with disabilities, older people, and women in certain age cohorts
• developing training for emerging technologiesproviding career advice to existing workers.
Business minister Heather Humphreys said her department is planning to expand or develop technology test beds in regional locations.
“This includes extending the EI/IDA Irish Manufacturing Research Technology Centre in Mullingar to accommodate Cobotics and Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies.
“It also includes the establishment of an Advanced Manufacturing Centre by IDA Ireland and expanding the Tyndall National Institute in Cork to provide greater engagement with industry in areas like micro and nano-electronics.
“We will also be developing a National Centre of Excellence on High Performance and Nearly Zero Energy Buildings in Wexford, and positioning the Mid-West as a leader internationally as a location for the testing of autonomous vehicles.
“Through Future Jobs Ireland, we will enhance the powers of our Local Enterprise Offices to ensure that any gaps in supports for indigenous businesses are addressed. We want to ensure that all ambitious Irish companies, regardless of size, are supported.”
Improving SME Productivity
Humphreys added that the government wants increased SME take-up of Enterprise Ireland and LEO productivity supports.
She also pr0mised to develop a new investment funding facility to assist indigenous Irish companies in scaling their businesses, and to encourage the growth of clusters where enterprises can grow and help each other and deepen linkages between foreign and Irish owned businesses.
Also promised is a new female entrepreneurship strategy. She added that Future Jobs Ireland will target an annual average increase in multifactor productivity in the domestic sectors of the economy by 1% per year to 2025.
Photo: Leo Vardkar (left), Paschal Donohoe and Heather Humphreys. (Pix: Kenneth O’Halloran)