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Jobs plan for border counties

Irish government minister Richard Bruton has launched plans aimed at creating 28,000 new jobs in the border region by 2020

THE Irish government is aiming to create 28,000 new jobs in the border region by 2020.

Southern jobs minister, Richard Bruton, yesterday attended events in Sligo and Drogheda outlining plans for North East/North West Action Plan for Jobs as part of the government’s €250 million regional jobs strategy.

The recession saw over 31,000 jobs lost throughout counties Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo and Donegal. With its new plans, the government is hoping to boost employment figures by up to 15 per cent in the border areas, mainly by encouraging start-ups and pumping up to 40 per cent extra IDA funding into projects.

Mr Bruton said: “The North East/North West is a region which had historic problems with unemployment, but over recent years thanks to the ingenuity of its workers and businesses it has performed extremely strongly.

“Since we launched the national Action Plan for Jobs in early 2012 over 20,000 extra people are at work in the region, making it the third fastest growing region in the country in employment terms. Jobs are growing particularly rapidly in exporting companies supported by my department. However we can do more, and that is why we are putting in place this highly ambitious plan to dramatically accelerate job-creation in the region.”

Yesterday’s launch came as Fianna Fáil’s border spokesman Brendan Smith expressed concern over Central Statistic Office figures showing that the region had a consistent poverty rate of almost 11 per cent compared to seven per cent in the southern and eastern regions.

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