Enterprise Ireland-backed companies create highest number of jobs in a decade
ENTERPRISE Ireland-backed companies created the highest number of jobs in a single year in a decade last year.
The agency said it helped create 5,442 net new jobs in 2013. Companies grew employment by 18,033, but 12,591 jobs were shed. This is an improvement on the 2012 figure, according to the semi-state agency's end-of-year statement.
Enterprise Ireland (EI), the agency tasked with supporting Irish companies looking to access international markets, said the net increase was primarily because of the strong export performance of Irish firms.
Julie Sinnamon, EI's new chief executive, described the performance as heartening.
"We've waited a long time to be able to say this, it is the highest net gain for over a decade and it really is a welcome continuation of the employment growth which has reversed the trend of many years," she said.
"These jobs are in every town and village in Ireland."
Total direct employment, both full time and part time, in Enterprise Ireland client companies stood at 175,750 last year, including 149,718 full-time posts. The full-time employment levels are the highest since 2007 and total employment is the highest recorded in the last decade.
Job losses last year at EI companies amounted to more than 12,591 -- down from 14,298 the previous year.
Among other highlights:
* Total new job commitments were 7,100 -- ahead of the agreed target of 6,250.
* EI and the IDA have worked closely to attract overseas start-ups to Ireland and during 2013 worked together in events in cities like Barcelona, Berlin and London and at the Dublin Web summit.
* EI invested in 97 new high- potential start-up companies, which together aim to employ more than 1,600 new staff and to generate more than €300m in annual sales. The companies came from a wide range of sectors including financial services, ICT , games, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
* The number of ministerial- led trade missions in 2012 and 2013 was double the average during the period 2007 to 2011.
* Twenty-seven spin-out companies were created from higher education research and research commercialisation activities.
* Twenty extra staff were allocated to EI and two new overseas offices were opened in Istanbul and Austin, Texas.
Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton said the results were brilliant news.
"Today's story is really about the heroes of our recovery -- the strong Irish-owned businesses who have transformed, in a very difficult climate," he said.
Ms Sinnamon took over as chief executive from Frank Ryan, who stepped down last year. He has since become chairman at EI's sister agency, the IDA.
Prior to becoming chief executive, Ms Sinnamon was executive director for global business development in Enterprise Ireland.