In 2013, there were 530 more jobs in Westmeath companies supported by IDA and Enterprise Ireland than was the case in 2011, according to Longford/Westmeath TD, Gabrielle McFadden. The Deputy obtained the figures after submitting a parliamentary question in the Dáil to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton.
“Minister Bruton is set to unveil a specific jobs actions plan for the Midlands region early in the New Year; however, I am glad to see that figures he has furnished to me show that the number of jobs in both IDA and Enterprise Ireland supported companies in Westmeath are on an upward trend since 2011.
“Latest data show there were 2,854 Enterprise Ireland supported jobs in Westmeath in 2013 while IDA supported jobs totalled 2,225 in the county. The comparative 2011 figures totalled 2,411 and 2,132 respectively, meaning that, in 2013, there were more than 530 more jobs supported by both Government agencies.
“Clearly, there are still too many people out of work but I’m delighted that Minister Bruton has selected the Midlands as the pilot for the first of his Department’s regional job action programmes.
“Indeed, a consultation process, which commenced a number of months ago, continued last Friday, December 19th in Athlone with the holding of a Midlands Regional Enterprise Forum.
“The forum brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from the retail sector, LEO clients, community-based enterprises, commercial state bodies and Failte Ireland. The forum discussed the strengths and opportunities that can be built upon to support enterprise and jobs growth in the region.
“This forum in Athlone and the wider consultation process will inform Department of Job’s Regional Enterprise Strategy for the Midlands which is due to be published early in the New Year.”