Job minister ‘shows complete disregard for the Diaspora’ – Quinlivan
Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan has condemned the refusal of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor to commit to the future of the Succeed in Ireland initiative run by ConnectIreland.
Speaking after the Jobs committee meeting, Deputy Quinlivan said:
“The Minister’s failure thus far to intervene shows a complete disregard for the diaspora many of who were there for Ireland in its time of need. ConnectIreland’s aim is to utilise Ireland’s diaspora and global connections to persuade companies to move to Ireland and create jobs.
“After 5 years of work, they have successfully brought over 2,000 jobs to rural Ireland and are currently working with 957 additional companies, encouraging them to locate here. They have built up a network of 78,285 connectors based in 147 countries who continue to give ConnectIreland great leads every day.
“One significant thing that distinguishes ConnectIreland from other job creation initiatives is its success in creating jobs in rural Ireland, where over 60% of their jobs have been located. This is more important now than ever, as we need to bolster job creation outside of Dublin to counteract the effects Brexit will have especially on rural communities.
“This progress to date is set to be eliminated by the inaction of the Minister who is to allow the contract expire on Sunday, without any justification.
“ConnectIreland helps create jobs in areas the IDA do not focus. They work with potential companies too small for the IDA and locate them in rural communities where the IDA does not focus. It’s outrageous that this programme is being terminated, with no review and no appreciation for the excellent work achieved to date.
“It was outlined today by the representative from the Department that the jobs brought to Ireland by ConnectIreland only cost around €4,000 per job, versus the cost of €10,500 incurred by the IDA. It baffling that as a result this government would close the cheaper job creation option.
“We were also told that a review is to be carried out, but no terms of reference for a review have even been established yet, despite the fact that the contract expires this Sunday.
“At best, this is extremely poor planning by the Minister and, at worst, shows the Department has no intention whatsoever of renewing the initiative without explanation. This is a job creation initiative that is 250% cheaper per job created, than the cost incurred by IDA, and it is proposed to close it? It’s genuinely astonishing.
“Sinn Féin won’t sit by and allow the Succeed in Ireland initiative run by ConnectIreland to be discontinued without a similar or better programme to replace it, the Minister’s inaction on this issue is unacceptable.”