Wednesday 18 October 2017

Jobless blackspots targeted in new work strategy

ine Kerr Political Correspondent

REGIONS ravaged by unemployment -- including the constituency of embattled Tanaiste Mary Coughlan -- will be prioritised for new jobs in a new government strategy to be announced tomorrow.

Counties such as Limerick, Waterford, Sligo and Donegal will obtain 50pc of the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) jobs created by the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and the Government under the plan.

Other parts of the midlands will also be singled out.

Donegal, the home county of the Tanaiste and Enterprise Minister, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, with 21,473 people now on the Live Register.

Likewise, Limerick has 22,010 people on the Live Register and Waterford has 14,597, after job losses at Shannon Airport, Dell and Waterford Crystal.

Last month, there were 435,000 people on the Live Register, 90,000 of whom were under 25 years of age.

Start-ups

The IDA has shifted 10pc of its staff from administrative responsibilities to creating new business start-ups and jobs.

The Government's emphasis is now firmly on China, India, Russia and Brazil in terms of attracting investment.

Tomorrow's FDI strategy is being published amid the continuing Ryanair jobs saga over access to Hangar 6 at Dublin Airport. Fine Gael is now lodging a complaint with the Competition Authority over the tender and competition process for the Hangar 6 licence.

The party's frontbench spokesman Leo Varadkar last night claimed there had been a "sweetheart deal" between Aer Lingus and the DAA.

"When (the DAA) got the lease back from SR Technics and took it over, they really should have put it out to tender and allowed Ryanair to compete for it. . . and put forward their jobs," he said.

"That didn't happen. They did a sweetheart deal with their friends in Aer Lingus."

However, the DAA has disputed this, and insisted correct procedure was followed.

Irish Independent

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