NOT enough new jobs are being created to maintain employment levels in Irish-speaking areas, the regional authority responsible for the economic, social and cultural development of the Gaeltacht has warned.
In its end of year report for 2012, Údarás na Gaeltachta stated that at year's end there were 610 fulltime equivalent jobs in Údarássupported companies in the Cork Gaeltacht.
"A total of 35 new jobs were created in the Cork Gaeltacht in 2012. There was a net loss of 23 jobs when losses are taken into account," Údarás revealed..
"An tÚdarás believes it is important to highlight that, although the level of job losses has stabilised, and is at its lowest level in years, the number of new jobs being created is not sufficient to maintain employment levels in the Gaeltacht," Anna Ní Ghallachair, chairperson and Steve Ó Cúláin, chief executive, said in a joint statement.
The authority said a number of factors - including the challenging global economic conditions, companies deferring expansion and capital investment plans, and also a substantial reduction in capital budget provision to Údarás - were responsible for the fall-off in job approvals.
"This restricted the operations of the organisation in its capacity to approve new projects and investments and develop modern business infrastructure.
"In order to attract inward investment, the Gaeltacht needs to be in a position to offer modern enterprises the most up-to-date physical, business and telecommunications infrastructure. The absence of access to high-speed broadband is still a challenge for companies in some Gaeltacht areas," the statement read.
Siubhán Nic Grianna, communications and marketing manager with Údarás, said the Cork job losses could be attributed to businesses seeking greater efficiencies.
"There were no company closures during the year, a number of companies shed jobs, these include companies such as Mark Eire, Firebird and Dexgreen, all of which are involved in manufacturing and provide projects to the construction industry which is currently at a low ebb," she said.
"The rest of the job losses in the main were companies shedding one or two jobs as they restructured and streamlined their businesses.
"Jobs were created mainly in established companies such as Independent Irish Heath Foods ltd, Bia Ganbhreise Teo, An Grúpa Edman teo and Tús Geal Teo created a small number of new jobs," she added.