McKeown new director of Jobs Action plan

McKeown new director of Jobs Action plan

Sean mcKeown ahs been appointed as the full time director to lead the implementation of the South Eeast's Action plan for jobs.
Formerly Head of enterprise with Kilkenny County Council he will be based at the Enterprise Ireland Regional Offices in Waterford.

The South east Action Plan for Jobs Implementation committee has finalised its firstnre’port, which confirmans that all of the actions for the regio in its three year plan have been completed..

Industry champions have also been sourced to help with the implementation of the plan - notably Terry Clune, Founder & Chair of Connect Ireland and Taxback, Kilkenny; Seamus Kilgannon, CEO Schivo Group, Waterford; Patsy Carney, CEO Eirgen Pharma, Waterford; Rachel Doyle, MD Arboretum, Carlow; Pat McLoughlin, Operations Manager Abbott Vascular, Clonmel; Pauline Oakes, Director of Operations CR Bard, Wexford; and Colin Gordon, CEO Glanbia Consumer Products.

The Chairman of the Implementation Committee, Frank O’Regan said: “We have got off to a really good start with some early wins. The Action Plan is a public-private partnership between the local authorities and state agencies in the region on the one hand and local business and industry champions on the other. We are united in our purpose to ensure the potential of the south east as a great place to live, invest and to do business is maximised and that we develop the right environment to create the jobs the region needs.”

Employment in the south east region fell by almost 38,000 (or 17%) between 2006 and 2011 and the unemployment level reached almost 19 per cent. Since the National Action Plan for Jobs was launched in 2012, employment in the region has grown by over 25,000 (or 14%). The South East Action Plan for Jobs launched in September 2015 aims to build on this momentum and comprises of actions which specifically focus on the region’s strengths, opportunities and challenges.

The Implementation Committee finalised its first progress report at its meeting held at the end of last month.

Among the actions that have been progressed to date are:

the commencement of a regional microenterprise Food Strategy in conjunction with Bord Bia and other relevant stakeholders.

support provided to local food producers has resulted in 5 from the south east, out of a national total of 29,being selected for trial listings in a cross section of SuperValu stores under the Food Academy ‘Advance’ Programme;

the development of a smart specialisation strategy for the region, looking at ways to maximise the use of ICT in particular in Agriculture, Digital Media, Medical Devices and Pharmaceutical Industries, Advanced Manufacturing and Tourism.

the development of a new technology gateway - DESIGN+ (at IT Carlow) to complement the existing gateways (at WIT) that will provide industry with a mix of design and technical expertise to help prototype and implement new products, as well as help upgrade the industrial strengths of the region;

a comprehensive programme of enterprise training and management development programmes(put in place by the LEOs in the region), aimed at assisting over 4,000 entrepreneurs to either start or develop and grow their business this year;

the preparation of an application under the Accelerator Development Scheme, which is aimed at providing an intensive range of supports to accelerate the number of quality start-ups in the region; and

the local authorities in the region have compiled a profile of available office and industrial space in the region

“The progress made since the launch of the Plan last September is very positive and the commitment shown by all of the stakeholders in the process thus far is really encouraging for the future of the region,” said Chairman O'Regan.