Wednesday 22 November 2017

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton outlines new 200,000 jobs strategy at Farmleigh

Brian Hutton

Jobs minister Richard Bruton said the government was aiming to create 200,000 jobs as part of a new unemployment strategy.

But he was unable to put any timeframe on the target which he described as both ambitious and long-term.

Speaking at the US/Ireland business conference at Farmleigh, in Dublin's Phoenix Park, Mr Bruton said he aims to publish the jobs strategy by January.

"I think it is a long-term strategy," he said.

"Obviously the recovery is fragile. Every day we work hard to create opportunities for companies to deal with difficulties that present themselves, to make decisions that enhance the capacity of the economy to grow again."

Mr Bruton added: "It is about setting an ambition, and looking at what are the changes necessary to get to that sort of ambition."

The jobs minister said the government wanted to commit itself to having two million people working in Ireland.

The strategy would be different from the government's jobs initiative announced in June, said Mr Bruton, because that was a series of discreet measures as opposed to a plan to clear away structural obstacles to job creation.

It would also address areas like competitiveness, infrastructural issues such as broadband, water and waste as well as innovation.

Mr Bruton said setting ambitious targets can drive change and force a rethinking of existing strategies.

The US/Ireland business conference brought together prominent Irish American and local American business leaders to meet Irish officials and business leaders ahead of the Global Irish Economic Forum.

US Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney said the talks would prove to be very helpful to both the US and Ireland.

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