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Saturday 25 February 2017

Just one extra IDA worker for job creation

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

THE Government is under fire for giving a job creation agency just one extra worker in a major unemployment blackspot 20 months after it suffered almost 2,000 redundancies.

Fine Gael said one additional IDA employee was not enough as part of a new jobs initiative in Limerick.

Limerick suffered a hammerblow in January last year when more than 1,900 jobs were axed after computer giant Dell moved its manufacturing base to Poland.

Fine Gael deputy Kieran O'Donnell said it was "unforgivable" that the jobs initiative had been delayed while it was decided whether to allocate extra staff resources to the IDA.

Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe announced the agency would get 10 new staff members last week after the Irish Independent revealed the IDA warned him it could not meet its job creation targets.

Warning

The announcement came after IDA chairman Liam O'Mahony had warned in a letter that job initiatives in Limerick and Sligo, as part of its Horizon 2020 plan to create 105,000 jobs over four years, were at risk.

"The IDA have confirmed to me that they are proposing the placement of one additional staff member in Limerick, whose job it will be to target emerging companies in the technology and life sciences sector," Mr O'Donnell said.

"Most worryingly, as I understand it from the IDA, the initiative has been delayed by Government while a decision on allocating staff resources to the IDA was being made.

"This is absolutely unforgivable. It means that the Government has sat back dilly-dallying for the past 20 months since the Dell manufacturing closure."

CEO of the IDA Barry O'Leary confirmed a single additional full-time IDA staff member was being assigned to Limerick.

Irish Independent

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