The Government has announced its Action Plan for Jobs 2012. The plan, which aims to improve the way the State helps companies, was launched this afternoon by the Taoiseach, the Táinste and the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton.
The programme includes 270 measures to be delivered this year in 15 Government Departments and 36 State agencies. It concentrates on growing jobs in Irish companies and multinational groups in specific sectors.
Some of the key actions in 2012 that will be delivered include:
- The design and implement a new Development Capital Scheme, aimed at addressing a funding gap for mid-sized, high-growth, indigenous companies with significant prospects for jobs and export growth. €50m of State investment is expected to leverage up to an extra €100m in private sector funding;
- Restructuring of the enterprise agencies in order to better target supports at indigenous businesses with job-creation potential;
- Establishment of a joint Enterprise Ireland/IDA senior management team to work jointly on cross-agency priorities such as attracting international start-ups, improving mentoring for SMEs, and helping SMEs win supply contracts from multinationals;
- Extension of the corporation tax exemption for start-up companies until 2014;
- Help more small businesses win big contracts;
- Measures to target improved performance by indigenous companies;
- The Partial Credit Guarantee for SMEs struggling to access credit will go live;
- The Micro Finance fund will go live, generating up to €100m in extra lending for micro-businesses over ten years;
- The second call for Innovation Fund Ireland will go live, worth approximately €60m, to invest in small Irish based high-tech companies;
- Attract more mobile international entrepreneurs to start businesses in Ireland through a €10m State fund for investment in international start-ups, improvements to immigration arrangements, a targeted marketing campaign, greater use of existing networks in the IDA and the diaspora;
- Launch the Diaspora Finder’s Fee initiative to attract greater numbers of inward investors to Ireland;
- Establish a Global Irish Network of advocates to maximise the opportunities from Diaspora interest in Ireland and secure greater investment in Ireland;
- Develop a Strategic Investment Fund with a commitment of €250 million from the NPRF, which will seek up to €1bn from institutional investors in Ireland and overseas;
- Accelerate the delivery of economic outcomes from Government investment in research by implementing a Research Prioritisation Plan and enact new legislation to target the State’s research funding towards applied areas of research with strong potential for commercialisation and job-creation;
- The R&D tax credit system will be further improved, making it easier for small and large companies to invest in research and development; and
- Initiatives targeting a number of key sectors where we see particular potential for job-creation, such as cloud computing.