Cork, a destination of choice for leading companies – Buttimer

Wednesday, 23rd July 2014

  • Announcement of 40 new jobs shows that Cork is a destination of choice of leading companies.
  • Itron to establish Global Business Services centre at City Gate, Mahon.

Logos for Itron StatementThe decision by Itron to establish a global business services centre in Cork shows that our city is a destination of choice for successful businesses.  Cork is now the centre of a cluster of leading ICT businesses which we must leverage to entice even more companies to locate in Cork and create much needed employment.

By the end of this year Itron plans to create 40 new positions at City Gate in Mahon.  Opportunities will be available in accounting, financial control and financial administration.  These jobs will be attractive to experienced professionals and are another important step in creating opportunities for people to return to work.

This is another vote of confidence in Cork and its people which will benefit local families and communities.  This year has seen many regular job announcements for Cork.  This week alone we have had 210 new jobs being created or announced.  The reopening of the Kingsley Hotel has created 130 new positions and yesterday 40 new jobs were announced by AlienVault.  We must continue to take decisions that encourage companies to come to Cork and create new employment opportunities across all industries.

Since this Government has come to office its primary objective has been to create the economic environment to encourage job creation.  Recent CSO statistics show that for the first time since 2009 for four successive months the number of people on the live register in Cork City and County has been under 38,000.  Since it peaked in July 2010 the number of people on the live register in Cork has fallen by 20%.  The statistics and the succession of job announcements in Cork this year show that policies are having an effect.  However, we must continue to make every effort to attract new businesses and create opportunities for all those who are still looking for work.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Economic, Jobs Enterprise & Innovation, South East

Parliamentary Question: European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

Question to the Minister of State at the Department for Education and Skills (Mr Ciarán Cannon, TD)

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the benefits he envisages of the application to the European Commission for co-funding support for a programme of guidance, training, education and enterprise supports; when a decision is expected; if in the interim the initiative showcasing supports for persons seeking work will be available to persons in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 8th July, 2014.

Freagra

An application for EU co-funding under the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) in support of 171 workers made redundant at the Andersen Ireland jewellery manufacturing plant in Rathkeale, Co. Limerick and for up to a similar number of targeted young persons under 25 years not in employment, education or training, was made by my Department on 16 May 2014.

Approval of this application under the co-decision procedure by the institutions of the EU, Commission, Council and Parliament,  will take some considerable time based on experience of previous applications and the fact that European Parliament elections took place recently. In the interim, and in anticipation of EU approval in due course of the Irish application, relevant supports are being provided by a range of local service providers in the areas of guidance, training, education and enterprise supports. These supports are being funded solely from national sources currently. All supports are being co-ordinated at  local level by the SOLAS EGF Coordination Unit which will shortly open an office in Rathkeale and which is currently operating from Raheen, Co. Limerick.  The benefit of these supports is to increase the employability of the persons in question and to demonstrate solidarity and reintegrate them as soon as possible into the labour force.

The Department of Social Protection is currently putting together a verified list of young persons under 25 years in the first instance in the West Limerick area who are not in employment, education or training for potential inclusion in any subsequently approved EGF programme. A number of these persons have been contacted by the EGF Coordination Unit. This is the first time such an approach has been possible under the EGF and the Irish application is understood to be one of the first to undertake such an approach across the EU. The outcomes, providing the application is ultimately approved by the EU, will be closely monitored by my Department.

Posted under Economic, Education, Employment, Parliamentary Questions

Buttimer calls for Development Council to use its expertise to develop a long term plan for Cork Airport

Wednesday, 25th June 2014

  • Cork Airport Development Council should be given the remit to contribute to a long term plan for Cork Airport.
  • Speaking in the Dáil on the State Airports (Shannon Group) Bill, 2014.

 

 
The establishment of a new high level stakeholder body, the Cork Airport Development Council, is a positive move for Cork Airport.  But the expertise on this group should be harnessed to develop a comprehensive long term plan for the development and growth of the airport.

The Development Council provides a forum for senior stakeholders from a range of sectoral and geographic backgrounds who have an interest in the development of Cork Airport to engage with management at the airport and to help contribute to traffic and route growth.  That this group has representatives from organisations such as Fáilte Ireland, the Cork Chamber of Commerce and EMC among others will ensure that local views will contribute to the future development of the airport so that it meets the tourism and business needs of the region.  If this impact of this input is to be maximised then it must feed into a formalised long term plan.

The first item that this group should focus on is expanding the air connectivity available from Cork.  In looking at this a priority must be developing air links with key international hubs with flights at times that suit businesses.  We must protect and develop key routes such as Heathrow, Gatwick, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Munich and Rome, but perhaps more importantly an air link to Dublin.

Having this range of flight options ensures that passengers using Cork Airport, for both business and tourism, can get direct flights to key international hubs which enable them to link to destinations across the globe.  Focussing on these routes will enable Cork businesses to grow and expand internationally.  This will benefit the language schools in Cork, third level colleges including UCC and CIT, the many leading international businesses that operate from Cork and all of those involved in the tourism sector.  These groups and businesses would be able to market Cork to a wider audience as a destination for business and tourism.

Regrettably the challenges facing Cork airport are compounded by the high level of debt that the airport carries.  All parties involved in Cork Airport must continue to explore ways to reduce the debt levels it is carrying.  Reducing this burden will allow the airport to reduce prices and attract airlines.  Unless the debt is reduced the ability of the Airport to reach its full potential will not be delivered.

I hope that that the Development Council will be the catalyst the will enable Cork Airport to grow so that it can reach its full potential.  And I hope that the input of people from outside of the DAA group will facilitate a detailed consideration of how to restructure the debt at Cork Airport so that it does not continue to be a heavy weight preventing the airport attaining its obvious potential.

Posted under Cork, Cork City, Dáil Speeches, Development, Economic, National Work, Tourism, Transport