GRIFFIN MEETS JOBS MINISTER, EI & IDA ON KERRY JOBS

GRIFFIN MEETS JOBS MINISTER, EI & IDA ON KERRY JOBS

Issues Discussed Include:

  • · Only 1 IDA Visit to Kerry in 2014
  • · Shannon LNG
  • · N22 Cork-Kerry Road, Adare By-Pass & Kerry Dublin Flights
  • · Regional Jobs Plan for the Southwest
  • · Investment Aid Status & Kerry’s Success Stories
  • · Possible “Invest in Kerry” Campaign to be Aimed at High End Visitors
  • · 364 net new jobs in EI/IDA Companies in Kerry 2011-2013
  • · 941 jobs lost in Kerry EI/IDA Companies 2008-2010
  • · Support for Indigenous Industries – Farming, Fishing, Tourism & Construction
  • · 9% VAT
  • · Falling Unemployment and Live Register in Kerry
  • · Need to Allow Smaller Construction Companies Tender for Bigger Contracts

Statement by Brendan Griffin TD (FG) Kerry

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

KERRY Fine Gael TD, Brendan Griffin, tonight (Tuesday) met with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, and senior officials from the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to discuss the jobs situation in Kerry.

Deputy Griffin called for the meeting following the receipt of recent information that the IDA has hosted only one site visit to Kerry from potential investors so far in 2014.

Deputy Griffin said that such statistics are soul destroying and has called for more to be done to create more jobs.

He said:

“While nationally, jobs announcements are becoming a daily feature of news bulletins, with almost two thousand jobs announced nationwide last week alone, Kerry needs to benefit more from the recovery of the economy.

“I have outlined a number of proposals to Minister Bruton and the agency officials on how we can optimise Kerry’s employment prospects.

“In particular, I have called on Minister Bruton to take a more active role in communicating with the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to ensure that the Shannon LNG project comes to fruition. It is a shovel ready project and one of Kerry’s biggest opportunities and Government Ministers need to work together to ensure that the opportunity is not lost.

“I have also called on Minister Bruton to work with the Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe, to ensure that the new N22 Cork to Kerry road is put on the next capital plan. This new road would make Kerry more accessible for investment as well as opening up the Cork jobs market to many more Kerry residents by making it more viable to commute daily to Cork. I also raised the issue of the Adare by-pass and the need to protect the Kerry/Dublin subsidised flight route and sought Minister Bruton’s support for this.

“I am glad that the Minister has taken on board the Southwest Jobs Plan proposal that I first made in the Dáil back as far as 2011 for a geographically orientated approach to planning for employment. The Department of Jobs now plans to develop a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy to better integrate the efforts of the enterprise development agencies and other regional stakeholders in supporting enterprises. The intention is that the framework will be developed on a pilot basis initially, involving EI, The IDA and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO). The objective is to enhance synergies between the agencies and their client companies and build on the competitive strengths of the region to maximise the potential for job creation. The role which other public bodies can play in working towards this objective will also be examined as the pilot develops. The aim is that this framework will serve as a model for other regions of the country.

“During the meeting, I pointed to all of the Kerry success stories, such as Fexco, Liebherr and Dairymaster and called on the Minister and the agencies to highlight these examples to potential investors. I also called for investors considering Cork to be informed of Kerry’s more favourable Investment Aid status, something that I have lobbied for since 2011 and became a reality on July 1st 2014. The status means that companies wishing to establish or expand in Kerry would receive better grant aid that in Cork. This special status was denied to Kerry in 2006 when Micheál Martin was Minister for Enterprise, and the decision was not prevented by the three Kerry Government TDs at the time. The measure has most probably cost jobs in Kerry and I am glad to have helped reverse the decision.

“We also discussed an idea that I discussed with Ray O’Connor of the IDA and Tomás Hayes of Kerry LEO during the summer, where the idea to “Invest in Kerry” would be suggested to the many thousands of high end visitors that holiday in Kerry every year. The idea would be to plant a seed in the minds of potential investors that Kerry, with its excellent quality of life and other positives, would be a suitable place to locate to. If even one success story emerged from this idea it would be worth it and I am pursuing the idea further.

“I also encouraged the agencies to keep in contact with former client companies that have left Kerry in recent years and reminded them that relocation decisions sometimes do not work out as planned by those companies, and some companies might be encouraged to return.

“In total, Enterprise Ireland (EI) and IDA supported companies added 364 additional new jobs in Kerry in the period from 2011 to 2013 compared to 941 job losses in these companies in the final three years of the previous government. That’s an 8% increase in employment in EI / IDA companies on 2010 figures.

“The IDA has added 141 new jobs in Kerry in the last two years, which represents almost a 10% increase in employment in IDA supported companies on 2011 figures. 70% of jobs growth for IDA companies in Kerry is from existing companies, for which site visits are not involved.

“While foreign investors have a significant role to play in Kerry’s future prospects, less than 3% of the workforce in Kerry is employed in IDA supported companies. At the meeting, I pointed to the importance of indigenous industries in Kerry, such as farming, fishing, tourism and construction, pointing to the need to continue policies that assist job creation and retention in these sectors, such as the 9% rate of VAT for tourism services. In particular in relation to construction, I referred to the need for tendering rules to change to allow for smaller construction companies to compete for large government contracts. I cited the example of a medium sized project in west Kerry, where a local construction company is successfully carrying out the contract with many local employees involved and speedy payment of sub-contractors. This contrasts with a large Kerry project, for which smaller companies could not tender, where the large construction company is employing many people from outside Kerry and is slow to pay sub-contractors. This scenario is reducing the impact of Government construction stimulus measures and needs to be rectified.

“I will continue to liaise closely with Minister Bruton to ensure that the trend of falling live register and unemployment figures continues and accelerates and will work with all other Ministers to ensure that any possible opportunities for Kerry are secured.”

ENDS

Further information from Brendan on 087-6528841

See Dail Question below:

DAIL QUESTION

 

NO. 90

 

To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of Industrial Development Agency sponsored visits to County Kerry by potential investors in 2014; the number of these that have occurred since 1 July 2014; if the IDA feels that it is less challenging to invite potential investors to County Kerry since its inclusion on the regional aid map; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

 

– Brendan Griffin.

 

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 22nd October, 2014.

Ref No: 40604/14

 

R E P L Y

 

 

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Mr Bruton)

 

I am informed by IDA Ireland that during 2014 there was one IDA Ireland sponsored site visit by a potential investor to Co. Kerry, which took place prior to the end of June 2014.

 

The final decision on where to locate and indeed where to visit resides with the client company. That having been said, the addition of grant aid in Kerry will, of course, add a positive element to the value proposition of Kerry as a destination for FDI.

 

At the end of 2013, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 12 IDA Ireland supported companies in Kerry employing 1,638 people. IDA Ireland has strong relationships with all these companies and works closely with them to ensure their long term sustainability and to encourage their growth, development and continuing re-investment in their sites. The primary opportunity for regional locations is in respect of the existing client base and potential further investment opportunities from same. Approximately 70% of all FDI investments won by IDA Ireland are from the existing client base.

 

The Action Plan for Jobs 2014 includes a commitment to develop a framework for a Regional Enterprise Strategy to better integrate the efforts of the enterprise development agencies and other regional stakeholders in supporting enterprises. My intention is that the framework will be developed on a pilot basis initially, focusing on the Midlands region, and involving the agencies under the remit of my own Department– Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices The objective is to enhance synergies between the agencies and their client companies and build on the competitive strengths of the region to maximise the potential for job creation. The role which other public bodies in the region can play in working towards this objective will also be examined as the project develops. The aim is that this framework will serve as a model for other regions of the country.

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