Commenting on the latest data from Enterprise Ireland, Andrew Doyle TD has said that 4,270 people in Co. Wicklow are now employed in Enterprise Ireland backed companies.
“The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation 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 Co. Wicklow, the number of people employed in Enterprise Ireland backed companies is 4,270. This is an increase of 8% since 2016.
“This comes at a time when more people are working than ever before with the unemployment rate currently standing 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. 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.
“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.
“I would strongly encourage businesses to stay vigilant and continue assessing their exposure in the coming period. The Government is here to help and to provide a wide range of supports to help to prepare. Last Friday, saw the launch of a new €28m Economic Stimulus Package for businesses in the border region to mitigate against the impacts of Brexit.
“Supporting regional enterprise remains a Government priority. Initiatives like the Regional Enterprise Development Fund and the Regional Enterprise Plans are making a real difference on the ground.
Doyle was also pleased to see the publication of Enterprise Ireland’s 2020 Action Plan for Women in Business.
“The purpose of this plan is to increase levels of women-led businesses and women in strategic management positions to improve diversity.”