Following a special cabinet meeting on employment today, the Government has agreed upon a multi-annual Action Plan for Jobs.
The first annual Action Plan for Jobs will be published in January. This plan will contain a series of measures to be implemented throughout 2012 and the targets to be met.
An implementation group consisting of representatives from the Department of the Taoiseach, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Forfás will be charged with ensuring that these targets are achieved.
Seven principal areas will be addressed in the Action Plan including: improving competitiveness and intensifying competition in sheltered sectors; supporting indigenous start-ups; assisting indigenous business to grow; attracting inward entrepreneurial start-ups; developing and deepening the impact of FDI; developing employment initiatives within the community; exploiting sectoral opportunities, includinghealth/life sciences, silvertech, green economy, ICT, cloud computing, digital gaming, Agri-Food, tourism and sport and financial services.
Three measures to help combat the problems that businesses at all levels face in accessing credit will also be contained within the Action Plan including: a Micro Finance Loan Fund to generate up to €100m in additional micro-enterprise lending which will be in place in the first quarter of 2012; a demand-led Temporary Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme, legislation will soon be drafted and an operator for the Scheme will be appointed; a second call worth approximately €60m under Innovation Fund Ireland will also to take place in Q1 2012.
The Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore TD also announced the agreement by Government of a series of measures arising from the Global Irish Forum.
Other measures sanctioned by Government include a series of measures arising from the recommendations of the Report of the Small Business Advisory Group presented by Minister for Small Business John Perry to the Taoiseach yesterday.
In the next issue of the PAI monthly Journal, Sarah Kilduff discusses the findings in the Report of the Small Business Advisory Group with the Minister for Small Business John Perry TD.