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The Irish government last year successfully implemented 249 out of the 270 measures of its action plan for jobs, a scheme which aims to stimulate the labour market and employment growth. This was the first in an annual series of plans aimed at supporting a net increase in employment of 100,000 by 2016.
The minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, Richard Bruton, said the Irish job market is showing signs of progress. This includes net growth of almost 12,000 private sector jobs last year, following a net loss of 250,000 private sector jobs in the three years to March 2011.
Among the measures delivered in 2012 are a €90million microfinance scheme to benefit 5,500 businesses and create 7,700 jobs. The government also allocated €20 million to a new education and training fund targeting the long-term unemployed.
Mr Bruton said the plan was working. “We are starting to see some positive signs of employment growth in the sectors we have targeted and of a return to sustainable employment growth across the private sector.
“The transition which we are supporting from the old, failed economy based on property, banking and debt to a new, sustainable economy based on exports, innovation and enterprise is well underway.”
A new action plan for 2013 will be published in the coming weeks.