THE GOVERNMENT IS to pay employers to recruit long-term unemployed people in a bid to shrink the numbers on the Live Register.
Unveiling its Action Plan for Jobs 2013 this morning, the Government said it also wants to get 2,000 more small businesses trading online over the next two years and increase the number of ICT graduates.
The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs highlighted what they called seven “disruptive reform” measures which they say will have a big impact on unemployment, which currently stands at 14.6 per cent and has remained similarly high throughout the economic crisis.
The Action plan is made up of 333 different ideas and plans to be implemented this year by Government departments and state agencies.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the Government’s top priority is “to get Ireland working again”.
“We are rebuilding our economy brick-by-brick, making it stronger, ensuring that successes gained are here for the long term,” he said. “The Action Plan for Jobs will continue to focus on our traditional enterprise sectors along with new growth industries”.
The new measures include:
- The State will pay one quarter of the amount of money it costs an employer to recruit a long-term unemployed person over a period of two years.
- The Government plans to target employment growth in specific sectors including manufacturing, agriculture, aviation and cloud computing.
- New regulation will make it cheaper to start and run a company.
- The IDA will target more than 130 new investments and aims to secure €500 million worth of R&D investment this year.
- The Government will fund a €70 million energy efficiency fund to support 20 major projects this year.
- The Government will create a single licensing application system for up to 25 licences in retail, saving retailers money.
- The plan aims to make Ireland one of the leading countries in the world for big data.
The Government says last year’s Action Plan helped to support “net growth” of almost 12,000 in private sector employment.
The Action Plan has been welcomed by retail and business groups.