Thursday, October 06, 2011

Bruton plan's plan for 200,000 net new Irish jobs

Richard Bruton speaking to a US-Irish conference in Dublin today, said he is working on a plan to create 200,000 net new jobs - -  effectively restoring employment to the 2m level.

His predecessors were great with targets even adding expected indirect jobs and ignoring job attrition.

It brings Yoggi Berra, the famous Amercican baseball player's quip, "It's déjà vu all over again," to mind.

Irish enterprise policy is dominated with spin and vacous superlatives and nothing has changed with the new government.

Bruton told the Americans today that the Irish-US business relationship "is now very much a two-way street, with Irish companies in the US employing almost as many people as US companies in Ireland."

This week, Elan, said it plans to move its main stock exchange listing to the US, as 94% of its shareholders are located outside Ireland.

Its good for bragging that CRH is technically an Irish company and a big employer in the US but most of its 80,000 payroll are not based in Ireland and neither are its shareholders.

The problem with Bruton and Seán Sherlock, his junior minister, is that they have seamlessly taken over from O'Keeffe-Lenihan, as cheerleaders of university research as a potential jobs engine, when it is a failed strategy.

Another fundamental problem is that there is no credible data on firm survival and mortality to support grandiose aspirations.

A non-sugar coated assessment of the challenges would be a good start and a big surprise.

Press statement:
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD today announced that he has begun preparation of a comprehensive Jobs Strategy, at the request of the Taoiseach and Cabinet Committee on Jobs with a target of 200,000 net new jobs. 

The Minister has previously signalled his intention to prepare a jobs plan at a speech at MacGill in July. It is expected that the Strategy will be published in January.

The Minister made the announcement in his address to the US/Ireland Business Conference at Farmleigh, which he is co-hosting.

During his address, the Bruton said: “The relationship with the United States is of vital importance to Ireland and this government is determined to work hard to strengthen and deepen our links to the benefit of both countries. This relationship, which was once based entirely around the great success story of US investment in Ireland, is now very much a two-way street, with Irish companies in the US employing almost as many people as US companies in Ireland.

“Jobs are at the very top of this Government’s agenda, and if we are to achieve the turnaround in employment that we so badly need, we must implement radical reform across every aspect of the economy. I have spoken before about the need for an innovation revolution – a revolution that brings innovation out of the laboratories and into our businesses, our communities, our schools, our public bodies and every aspect of our economy.

“We must broaden our strengths over and above the reliance on the traditional foreign direct investment that has served us so well. Within the multinational sector, we must seek to attract international entrepreneurs to start businesses in Ireland, and must strive continually to encourage the world-leading companies already here to locate the pioneering parts of their businesses here. However we must also recognise that our indigenous companies have the potential to significantly increase their exports, and do what it takes to create a real indigenous engine of growth.

“We must learn from the world-leading companies we are so lucky to have in Ireland and find ways of ensuring that our indigenous companies can lead the world in the vital processes that add value and create employment: productivity, design, management and research and development.

 “If we are to bring about these types of changes, we need a plan, and that is why I have committed to prepare a comprehensive Jobs Strategy. This Strategy will not attempt to compete with the large number of reports already prepared on this subject, but will draw from the volume of material already available, as well as the amazing level of expertise available both in Ireland and abroad. I have already started a rolling process of engagement on the issues and intend to create an action plan that Government can take to address our challenges.

“If we work hard and take tough decisions I don’t see why we should not aspire to:
  • Create over 200,000 jobs to have 2 million people at work again
  • Be the best country in which to run an enterprise
  • Significantly increase the share of our indigenous business in export markets
  • Return to and stay in the top five countries for cost competitiveness; and
  • Ensure once again that all our children can have a future in Ireland.