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​Irish Dev

May 1, 2013 View Original Article

Job Crisis Continues

ISME's Mark Fielding Slams Government for Self-Praise, Back-Slapping & Box-ticking as they Fail to Keep Youth from Deserting Ireland

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Despite the ongoing announcements of job creation by the Government and, for the IT sector, the IDA Ireland and Enterprise IrelandISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, has once again reminded the Government of their commitment to address the continuing jobs crisis, which continues to grow after two years of the coalition's administration.

According to ISME, who represent over 8,750 members, 10% of which belong to the IT sector, the long-term unemployment situation continues to be a national disgrace, with our youth leaving in droves to find work elsewhere, and the Association has called for a much more proactive government approach to tackle the crisis.

Whilst the government are announcing company-after-company creating jobs in Ireland, the fact remains that the jobs are generally forecast over 2 - 3 years; the announcements last week by Storm Technology and opensky (read more) and today's announcment of 100 jobs by US web technology company SquareSpace are prime examples.

Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, said: "The self-praise, back-slapping and box-ticking of the failing Action Plan for Jobs must stop and be replaced with a complete overhaul of our competitiveness. Real investment in infrastructure will have a positive effect, while all government costs must be reduced to allow the wealth creating private sector to increase productivity and protect jobs."

The latest standardised unemployment rate from the CSO shows an unchanged 14%. The seasonally adjusted live register figures confirm that 426,900 people are claiming assistance, a mere 100 down on the March figure; however the number of long term claimants has increased to 44.6% of the total, up over 2,000 in the year. Talking to IrishDev.com today about the IT Sector, Fielding described the figures as ‘horrific'. "The reduction in unemployment is mostly down to our youth getting out of the country to find, or having found, positions abroad."

In the mid-late nineties, 'the real Celtic Tiger', as Fielding describes it, Ireland was able to attract talented professionals back to Ireland, but is unsure if Ireland Inc can do this again. He added: "Internships are over-subscribed and that shows that the hunger and desire is here, yet our government are not creating the environment for them to stay."

"With many small businesses on their last legs doing everything possible to stay in business, the reality is that job creation is secondary to job maintenance," he said. "The Government must increase its investment in job-rich infrastructure projects to kick-start economic revival, while addressing the uncertainty surrounding Croke Park 2 and the incessant cost-creep of state influenced charges."