Fine Gael Wicklow TD, Andrew Doyle, has said that new figures show there has been an encouraging increase in the number of jobs in Enterprise Ireland (EI) supported companies over the last two years. The number of jobs in EI companies in Wicklow was up to 3,339 last year, an increase of almost 200 since 2010. Furthermore, the number of jobs in EI companies in the county is now above 2009 levels.
âThese figures show that the Governmentâs strategy for Enterprise Ireland, which helps Irish companies to expand and enter markets abroad, is working. Helping home-grown businesses to enter export markets are a key element of the Governments job creation strategy.â
âWe are in a situation in Wicklow where there are now more jobs in EI supported companies than there was in 2009, before the economic crash. This is very positive given the extremely difficult backdrop. The Government has introduced a range of schemes over the last two years aimed at helping Irish companies to enter export markets. By enabling Irish companies to expand into new and emerging markets abroad, we are making it easier for them to create jobs here at home.â
âNationally, we are starting to see progress on the jobs crisis. In the final three years of the Fianna FÃ¡il Government, 250,000 jobs were lost in the private sector. Now, we are creating 1,000 new jobs a month. 2012 showed the first annual increase in employment in five years, and exports have hit their highest ever levels. The challenge for the Government is to ensure these changes are felt by as many people as possible.â
âThe unemployment rate however, is still way too high. Job creation figures for IDA supported companies in Wicklow, which include multinationals, have remained stagnant. Attracting IDA investment in Wicklow is a long-term problem. The lack of progress on this issue is unacceptable and I will be pushing the agency to redouble their efforts in bringing larger employers into the county.â
âSmall businesses are the backbone of the local economy in Wicklow. The Government has introduced a range of schemes aimed at improving access to credit, helping new businesses to get off the ground, and encouraging enterprises to enter export markets. The establishment of Local Enterprise Offices will make it easier for businesses in County Wicklow to access all of the help and information they need. In this way, we can ensure that we continue to create employment and get people back to workâ, concluded Deputy Doyle.