Technology, innovation and food targeted as cash subsidy for employers to cut dole queue
JOBS Minister Richard Bruton says the creation of jobs will come from sharp entrepreneurs in new technology or niche markets.
Mr Bruton also said the Government is trying to offer a deal to employers to recruit more staff as the economy reaches a "tipping point".
In an interview with the Irish Independent, he said there are a whole range of companies emerging with a "real hunger".
"In terms of where the new economy is going to be, it has to be in exports, it has to be around innovation. If you look at the companies coming out on the trade missions, they are really bright and ambitious companies usually with a new technology.
"The new economy is going to be these fairly sharp entrepreneurs, who either have a new technology or they found a niche where they can play."
Areas he identified for growth include:
• Information technology.
• Health innovation.
• Premium product call centres.
• Food production.
"Some of them are in traditional sectors like food. You don't have to be in hi-tech to be an innovative player in the space you are in."
Mr Bruton said the recovery is not going to be driven by construction, but numbers employed in that sector will ultimately improve.
"There is going to be a lift. That's further down the road. I don't think anyone is predicting the construction sector is at a turning point.
"I am not writing off construction because construction is sub-normal [at the moment]. It is contracted to a point where it is below what its normal level will be. So, at some point in the future, it will recover some of its loss," he said.
The Government is putting the finishing touches to a job creation scheme where employers will be paid €1 in every €5 of the cost of hiring someone off the dole queue.
The plan is aimed at getting the long-term unemployed – those out of work for 12 months or more – back into the workforce.
The plan will be better for employers and easier to operate.
It's expected to be worth around about €5,000 a year to the employer, depending on the wages of the new staff member.
The payment will continue for two years, as long as the staff member is still on the books, and there is no commitment on the amount of time they have to be employed for.
Mr Bruton said the Coalition has come up with the new proposals after employers complained existing schemes were too complicated and they now won't be waiting years to get the cash benefit.
"We want to strip out a lot of the complexity and make them easier to take up. I think if we are close to the tipping point in the economy; there is a fair chance that people are starting to think about recruiting again," he said.
"It's to try and hit that tipping point with an offer that looks simple and helps people to have a go, and this incentive is good enough."