20 additional staff for Enterprise Ireland

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD has secured an increase of over 14% in the number of Enterprise Ireland staff in overseas offices in a move aimed at increasing exports by Irish companies to high-growth emerging markets and ultimately creating jobs in Ireland.

20 additional staff will be recruited locally on fixed term contracts and will be assigned to offices in key target markets including in particular the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). Enterprise Ireland analysis concludes that recruitment of these staff can directly support the creation of 1200 additional jobs in Ireland and €250million in additional annual exports.

Minister Bruton sought the increase as part of the Action Plan for Jobs and its focus on building a powerful engine of Irish exporting businesses. Over the past two years the Government  has introduced a range of measures aimed at supporting increased levels of exports by Irish exporting businesses including:

·        Established a new Potential Exporters’ Division in Enterprise Ireland

·        Put in place over €2billion worth  of new credit programmes for Irish companies

·        The Foreign Earnings Deduction introduced in Budget 2012 and extended in Budget 2013, aimed at incentivising companies to place staff in growth markets (in particular the BRICS) and encouraging export sales

·        An intensive programme of Ministerial-led trade and investment missions. Since the Plan was launched in early 2012 the number of trade missions led by Enterprise Ireland, for example, has doubled, from an average of 8.5 (2007-2011) to an average of 17 (2012 and scheduled for 2013)

As well as the BRICS countries, the new resources will also be allocated to countries in Asia and the Middle East.

Making the announcement, Minister Bruton said:

“At the very heart of our Action Plan for Jobs is building a powerful engine of Irish business. While the multinational sector is and will remain key to our employment growth, we must also relentlessly focus on accelerating export and jobs growth among Irish exporting companies. These businesses have delivered impressive growth in jobs and exports over the past two years, with more than 3,000 jobs added in 2012 – however if we are to create the jobs we need we must build on and accelerate that trend.

“That is why we are adding over 14% to the number of Enterprise Ireland staff in overseas market, in a move targeted particularly at the BRICS countries as well as other high-growth markets outside Europe. This is part of a strategy to target export growth to these markets which has included tax incentives for companies to place ‘boots on the ground’ in these markets as well as improvements to Government supports to these companies.

“On trade missions since taking office I have seen first hand the excellent work that Enteprise Ireland and the companies it supports are doing in overseas markets. This move will mean even better supports for more companies, ultimately delivering €250million in additional exports and 1200 jobs for Ireland”.

Kevin Sherry, Enterprise Ireland Director International Sales and Partnering added “it is vital that Irish companies increase exports and their penetration into these important high growth markets and we warmly welcome this additional resource to our international drive to assist Irish companies target and capture opportunities that these markets offer. We will commence the recruitment process within the selected markets over the coming weeks and expect people to be operational by the fourth quarter”