Wednesday, 17th January 2018
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Enterprise Ireland, the Government agency responsible for developing Irish business globally, has reported strong job creation by its client companies in Waterford, with a 4% increase in the number of jobs created. 6,359 people are now employed by companies supported by the agency in Waterford.

A total of 19,332 new jobs were created by companies supported by Enterprise Ireland in 2017. 209,388 people are now employed in companies supported by the agency. This is the highest total employment achieved in the history of the agency.

This represents a net increase of 10,309 jobs for 2017, taking account of job losses. In line with total employment levels, the net increase in jobs, is the highest on record with Enterprise Ireland. The job creation figures are up on 2016, showing strong consistent year on year growth, despite the uncertainty that Irish businesses faced in 2017 in the context of Brexit.

Job creation was evenly spread across the country, with every county seeing job increases. Two thirds (64%) of the new jobs created were outside of Dublin. The West, Mid-West and North West saw the largest level of increases at 7% in 2017.

Enterprise Ireland attributes this strong performance by Irish businesses to the continuing growth of an entrepreneurial climate for start-ups, allied to strong jobs growth in the Construction (8% increase), Engineering (8% increase), Lifesciences (8% increase), Digital Technology (6% increase), Electronics (6% increase), Food (4% increase) and ICT sectors (5% increase).

Making the announcement today at the headquarters of Enterprise Ireland client technology company Ding, Enterprise Ireland Chief Executive Julie Sinnamon said: "Today’s figures represent another year of strong performance by our client companies who now employ over 209,000 people and are a barometer of the robust health of Irish businesses. Despite the challenge and uncertainty created by Brexit, Irish companies have continued to grow their global exports, supporting strong job creation across all of the regions of Ireland.

"At Enterprise Ireland, our Strategy – Build Scale, Expand Reach 2017 - 2020 is focused on transforming the innovation and competitive capabilities of Irish enterprise, to expand the global reach of ambitious Irish companies into diversified export markets and we are pleased with the results of the first year of our new strategy. It is imperative, however, that Irish businesses continue to build on the strength of their 2017 performance and implement robust plans to prepare for the impact of Brexit."

Commenting, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said: "Today’s results are consistent with the strong employment performance across the economy. Whatever the outcome of the complex Brexit negotiations that lie ahead, it is vital that as a country we are ready and the Government continues to take initiatives to bolster the capacity of our enterprise agencies to drive exports and support investment."

"In recent months, with the support of my Department, Enterprise Ireland has launched new measures to strengthen the rural and regional economy and to provide quicker access to innovation funding for exporting companies. "My Department’s eight Regional Action Plans for Jobs, which will be a key focus of my work in the coming period, are now embedded across the country. They are excellent examples of government agencies like Enterprise Ireland, local authorities, the Local Enterprise Offices and businesses working together to tackle regional issues. These results mark another step in the right direction for our regional plans."

Commenting on the positive job creation in Co. Waterford, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research & Development, John Halligan TD said; "I am very pleased to see this strong level of job creation delivered for Waterford by Enterprise Ireland backed companies. The priority of my Department, through Enterprise Ireland is to support companies in Waterford and right across the country to continue to build on this strong job creation performance into 2018."

Today, Enterprise Ireland also announced the launch of a new Market Discovery Fund to support Enterprise Ireland backed companies to diversify into new markets and promote new products to existing markets. There are three levels of funding available to companies; up to €35,000, up to €75,000 and up to €150,000.

Announcing details of the new Fund, Julie Sinnamon said: "In the context of Brexit, consolidating exports to the UK, while expanding the Irish export footprint in markets beyond the UK is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland. The new Market Discovery Fund, along with our intensive international programme of export focused trade missions, and our recently introduced Agile Innovation Fund, are key supports which will be instrumental to helping even more companies grow and reach new export markets. The new Fund, further underpins our goal of increasing exports by €5bn by 2020."

Today’s announcements were made at the offices of the Enterprise Ireland backed company Ding, the world’s most popular mobile top-up platform, used by hundreds of thousands of people every day in over 100 countries. In 2018, Ding are on course for a significant programme of investment and growth with plans to add another 50 people to their team worldwide to bring total employment to 250, as they seek to achieve revenue targets of $1 billion, in the coming years.

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