The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs Enterprise and Employment has given its backing to a proposal to bring forward a major Jobs Action plan for the South East.
Senator David Cullinane, who proposed that the committee undertake this report, has been appointed as special Rapporteur.
The Sinn Féin Senator has welcomed the Committee’s approval to carry out the report, and noted that it is very timely.
“The current recession has exacerbated significant regional variations in investment and employment. One of the areas worst affected has been the South East, as evidenced by the 19.7% on the Live Register.
"However, thus far, and in spite of the establishment of the South East Employment Forum, we have yet to see any concrete improvement in this situation. So it is crucial that this report is not simply a light aspirational document, the report must bring forward credible, realistic proposals on how to attract investment and create employment in the South East.
"This work will build on previous documents and reports such as the South East Unemployment Action Plan, however we will also be seeking to hear the views of as wide as possible a cross section of opinion in the south east. We will be meeting with all key stakeholders throughout the region, including the business community, Trade Unions, public representatives, and ordinary citizens.
"I would anticipate that this report will be published in June 2013, and I hope that the outcome of this extensive engagement will be a report which can help be practically implemented, and which can help combat the unemployment crisis in the South East."
The purpose of the report will be to examine the factors at play in the South East, and what the appropriate responses to it should be, with a view to applying the lessons learned to tackle unemployment throughout the rest of the country.
The South East is an area which has struggled disproportionately with unemployment in recent years, with the percentage on the live register for the south east is 19.7%, nearly 25% above the average for the state, at 14.8%.