Monday, April 16, 2007

The Politics of Irish Jobs Announcements

Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment
Irish enterprise agencies are required to inform ministerial office staff at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment on any development where either the senior minister or two junior ministers can claim credit for via a press release.

Jobs announcements are the manna to spin the yarn while there is no monthly ministerial claim for credit in respect of redundancy data.

In recent weeks, in advance of the general election and with a raft of unwelcome plant closure announcements, the sparse weekly jobs announcements have usually been preceded by a leak.

So news jobs have been unofficially announced in the weekend newspapers and then, in succeeding days, there is the ministerial imprimatur on the number of "high calibre " jobs that will be created and lots of blah-blah.

Last week, there was an announcement from Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD that US firm Paragon Global Resources is to locate its international headquarters in Blanchardstown, Co. Dublin, with the support of IDA Ireland. The total investment will be €3.7 million over five years and will create up to 100 new "high level positions."

Today Monday, Martin announced that DeCare Systems Ireland Limited, a unit of a US firm, is to "undertake a strategic expansion of its business at the University Technology Centre, Cork". With the support of IDA Ireland, the expansion will create 100 new high level positions over five years, Martin said.

Apart from the apparent coincidence of the same number of jobs over the same time period, to have a time period of five years for creating jobs, is ridiculous. So it is an aspiration.

The five-year time period appears to be politically motivated to boost the number of jobs in an announcement.