Government to create 20,000 manufacturing jobs by 2016

The government has announced plans to create an additional 20,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector by 2016. Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn have published strategies under the Action Plan for Jobs.

A new start-up fund run by Enterprise Ireland, new supports targeted at engineering firms and better training for skills shortages in the manufacturing sector are included.

Last year Minister Bruton tasked a group led by industry experts with coming up with a plan to deliver on the government target of 20,000 additional jobs in the sector. The strategies launched today, prepared by Forfás and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, are aimed at delivering on that.

Key actions are proposed across a range of areas, including; access to new funding, management training and support, costs reduction and technology adoption.

Among the specific measures proposed are:

-A new Start-up Fund run by Enterprise Ireland specifically targeting supports for new manufacturing start-ups;

-Enterprise Ireland to introduce a new Capability Fund to support capital investment by manufacturing companies;

-EI and IDA to target additional financial supports for R&D investment specifically targeted at engineering firms;

-A new National Step Change Initiative available to all EI and IDA client companies that will systematically support manufacturing companies to expand their client base through staff training and Peer Learning and improve their adoption of new technologies and embrace R&D

-Better targeting of training at skills shortages in the manufacturing sector through the implementation of the Manufacturing Skills study.

-The announcement was made by Jobs Minister Richard Bruton and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.

"The end of industry was an Anglo-Saxon fad; Mrs. Thatcher effectively closed down manufacturing in Britain and the assumption as that you couldn't manufacture profitably in Europe" Mr. Quinn said.

"Well the Germans and the Swiss and a whole lot of other people - like the Danes and the Finns - have showed that you can do that".

"This is an example of just how that can be done, and we're going to do it for the 21st century" he added.