On coming to power three years ago, this Irish Government committed to identifying the key actions they will take to support businesses and to create jobs, ie the Action Plan For Jobs. The most recently published Action Plan for Jobs, published in January 2013, outlines the actions to be undertaken by all Government Departments and their agencies to support employment creation help those currently unemployed to access the labour market. The Action Plan for Jobs complements ‘Pathways to Work’ another strategic employment initiative. It is a l o n g read, but it was interesting. If you wish to check it out, click here http://www.djei.ie/publications/2013APJ.pdf
‘This Government feels that it can bring about change in the employment sector by ‘shining a light’ on specific areas of activity and bringing ‘disruptive reform’ to the way we address employment opportunities’.
The Government has prioritised these seven selected initiatives, for ‘disruptive reform’, that will result in the provision of specific support for job creation. They are as follows;
Big Data; Build on our existing enterprise strengths to make Ireland a leading country in Europe in “Big Data”;
ICT; Make Ireland the most attractive location in the world for ICT Skills availability.
Business Licensing; Reduce the administrative burden on business through the introduction of an Integrated Licensing Application System;
Online Businesses; Increase the number of businesses trading online;
Jobs Plus; Make it attractive for businesses to hire additional employees from the Live Register through the Jobs Plus Initiative;
Energy Efficiency; Transform Ireland into an energy efficient economiy by 2020;
Health Innovation; Establish a world renowned National Health Innovation Hub.
However it is worth bearing in mind the Goverment’s caveat that ‘the Action Plan is not an end in itself; it is a process of identifying and implementing actions’.
At http://www.icanwork4u.com we feel that the report, while generally aspirational is practical in its goals. The most ‘instant’ fix reform is the Jobs Plus is a new Incentive Scheme to encourage Business to recruit more long-term unemployed people by means of a subsidy, equivalent to 25% of the minimum wage, that is paid to the employer over a period of two years. It is however heavily slewed towards the re-engagement of the long-term unemployed, namely those on the Live Register for over one year. Unfortunately for the short-term unemployed, the plan co-incides with a corresponding 25% reduction in the payment and term of the ‘Job-seeker Allowance which is paid to those who are claiming unemployment benefit in the immediate 3-9 months after losing their job.
This coincidence may be intended to reduce, on paper at least, the numbers coming into the ‘Long-Term Unemployed’ category, which no doubt will satisfy the politicians and the statisticians in the Government come 2014, as it will show a reduction in the numbers of long-term unemployed and a decrease in the growth of same.
Undoubtedly this is what politicians do best, confuse the issue. At http://www.icanwork4u.com we believe that the employment subsidy should be paid to employers when the take someone, anyone, off the live register, whether they are long term or recently unemployed, irrespective. The idea is to get people working, period.
Quit putting barriers up in the job market-place. Let the subsidy be paid to anyone taking someone off the live register. That is the goal.
Report – Action Plan For Jobs 2013 http://www.djei.ie/publications/2013APJ.pdf
Foreword by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D.
Foreword by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, T.D