Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
135. Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her plans to deal with unemployment in County Mayo; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11170/09]
136. Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of jobs which were lost in County Mayo in the 2008; the measures she will take in response; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11171/09]
Unemployment is increasing across the country due to the downturn in the economy and this has impacted on County Mayo also. This situation is unwelcome and is an indication of the challenges that are now facing the labour market and the economy as a whole.
Employment and unemployment are measured by the Quarterly National Household Survey published by the CSO. It does not provide data on particular counties but only on a regional basis. Based on the latest available data, which is for Quarter 4 2008 (Sept — Nov), unemployment has increased by 10,700 in the West Region over the 12 month period to Quarter 4 2008. Specifically on a county basis, live register figures for Mayo, which are not designed to measure unemployment show an increase of 4,842 over the year from February 2008 to February 2009.
The Government is taking specific measures to address the ongoing challenges in the labour market and to ensure that job losses are minimised as much as possible and for as short a time as possible. The National Training and Employment Authority FÁS are providing a range of supports through its offices in Ballina and Castlebar, to assist the unemployed secure employment as soon as possible. These supports include jobsearch specific skills training for the unemployed and access to work experience.
In the Ballina Training Centre a wide range of evening course programmes are available to help the unemployed and those in employment who wish to up-date their skills or learn new ones. The programme content for this year includes training in such disciplines as welding, roofing, accounts & payroll and safety, health and welfare at work. In addition FÁS is planning to provide a further four full-time and two part-time courses throughout Co. Mayo offering training to an additional 250 people before mid 2009.
The Enterprise Development Agencies, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA are committed to facilitating job opportunities in Co. Mayo. Enterprise Ireland activity is focused on the creation of new jobs through supporting entrepreneurs setting up new High Potential Start-Up Companies, the retention and creation of new jobs in existing companies and in enhancing the innovation capability of Ireland. Enterprise Ireland works with 129 client companies in County Mayo, with an associated employment of 3,016. From 2007 to-date Enterprise Ireland has approved funding support of over €11.6 million to companies in County Mayo.
IDA is also committed to the development of County Mayo and through its network of overseas offices. IDA is actively marketing the county for new inward investment while, at the same time, continuing to work with its existing base of overseas companies to encourage them to grow and expand.
The Government remains intent on achieving greater capacity within existing resources to meet the on-going challenges in the labour market, inclusive of County Mayo. We will, through FÁS, continue to focus on providing training opportunities to those who are unemployed to improve their skills, increase their employability, thereby enabling them to get back into employment as soon as possible.
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