Action plan for jobs

The “2012 Action plan for jobs” is now available on the DJEI website. The press release is here

24 replies on “Action plan for jobs”

Can’t fault the aspirations but four years to generate 100,000 new jobs? ‘Undoubtedly ambitious’ seems a fair summation. Was it in 2010 that the IDA was also promising 100,000 jobs, and in 2009, the UCD-TCD alliance was promising 30,000?

I notice there are a few pieces about building ‘clusters’, world class of course, which seem to boil down to more taxpayer funding for more academic research. If the research is so necessary and so valuable one wonders why major companies aren’t funding them out of their own deep pockets?

And as for cloud computing, I caught an interview on the RTE radio two or three weeks back with a spokesman for a US firm opening a cloud computing centre in Dublin. He was vague about the eventual employment but keen to point out that the company employed people all over the world.

My limited understanding of the cloud computing setup is that it needs a big chill warehouse for all the computers and very few actual staff as the task is mainly storage and retrieval.

No mention of ‘upward only lease’ changes again in the Retail section. Not good news.

Re: ‘cloud’
I’ve been wondering about give. The politicians have been biggin’ it up. I don’t know much about the IT architecture but if the idea is remote access, then you’d expect system admin/software engineers should also be able to use remote access. Is it fair to say you’d need a hardware engineer, a security man and a dog?

It would be useful if someone with knowledge of Cloud would let us know. Can most support work be remote?

@The Alchemist

Upward only rent reviews have been removed from new contracts I thought; but you can’t just renege on old contracts and that is only just.

Rule of law and all that. Something that is under appreciated but a very important ingredient in growth, ask the Greeks…

You could do most admin remotely for cloud setups, except for the stuff you can’t do remotely…that’s the stuff that can really bite you.

So I think most people will be locally employed, doubtful it will be larger numbers though.

“Governments don’t create jobs, successful businesses and entrepreneurs do.” (from the Executive Summary).

Oh yes, governments do. And they create both sustainable jobs and unsustainable jobs. The former are created when taxpayers collectively demand, and consent to pay for, more services that are provided directly by government or its agencies. Quite a few of the latter were created during the bubble era when various narrow sectional economic interests were able to get their grubby mitts on a large share of the funds provided by a shrunken tax base with huge potential for volatility in the generation of these tax revenues.

It looks like the ‘more than 270 actions’ specified in ths Plan will keep quite a few of those in these unsustainable jobs occupied and it is likely to make a lot of work (and additional revenue) for those providing ‘external consulting expertise’. The ‘industry’ that manufactures the ‘policy-based evidence’ to help government project and sustain whatever optical illusions it desires will be working over-time.

And the parallel ‘industry’ manufacturing the special pleading and self-serving analysis for the various sectional economic interests will also be working over-time to secure, bend or tweak the outputs of these more than 270 actions to their advantage. There will be limited focus on the viability of the economic activities most of these actions seek to promote. The focus will be on defining activities and projects to maximise what can be extracted from the state or to avoid the impact of any of the actions that seek to enhance competition or more efficient and effective regulation.

It’ll be back, as near as damnit, to bubble era ‘business-as-usual’ for an awful lot of people. No idea how many sustainable jobs will emerge, but all the optical illusions are being sustained in the areas requiring serious structural reforms, so I have my doubts. And I lived the first decade of my ‘working life’ in the 1980s.

[…] This afternoon, Minister for Jobs, Enterpriseand Innovation, Richard Bruton has published his “2012 Action Plan for Jobs” which sets out a large number of measures, with varying degrees of specificity, to help generate 100,000 new jobs between now and 2016. In a country with an unemployment rate of 14.2% with 310,000 unemployed, and a total of 440,000 on the Live Register, any initiative is to be welcomed. The 126-page document is here – there is a discussion of the initiatives generally over at here. […]

@The Alchemist

“And as for cloud computing…”

Judging from one of the headlines this morning, it sounds like there’s a few jobs to be created getting Garda stations past fax technology and onto email first – before we get to the dizzy heights of cloud computing.

Cloud, like any emerging/new technology, usually quotes one of its USP’s as needing less people – local maintenance mainly (the highly skilled job of swapping one board out and another in or typing in a command and running a diagnostic program that also fixes the problem), with all the exciting jobs like software development, strategy, 2nd/3rd line support, marketing, etc. still over in the US (mainly).

It would appear that most of the jobs created by so-called (media-dubbed) ‘technology’ companies like Google, Facebook, Paypal, etc. these days are more likely to be low grade ‘localisation’ or more likely, call centre roles: either answering already irate customers or trying to flog them something and making them irate (and if you’re lucky, they will be in Ireland not India).

I will read the whole report later and see what deep, evidence-based thinking lies behind this claim that 100,000 jobs will be created over the next four years. What will that reduce the present 14% + unemployment figure down to by 2016 if you are lopping 25,000 off the dole queue each year? Does this mean at best we will still have 10% + or so unemployment in 2016? That’s assuming of course that we aren’t adding 25,000 a year to it anyway between now and then… I would hate to see something like this work only to be cancelled out by further job losses …. which is where the politician’s PR spin comes in to this….

The objective in America (because it’s the yardstick the opposition beat you with) is not usually stated in terms of how many jobs you can create (that’s just an interim KPI): it’s what you can get the headline unemployment % figure down to.

Creating jobs is not necessarily a sign of recovery (i.e. the unemployment rate could still be stagnant or increasing)… so saying you are going to create 100,000 jobs over four years is not quite the same as saying you are going to reduce unemployment, as currently measured, by 25% in that time period. It’s a lot easier to massage the figures to make it look like 100,000 people started in new jobs over four years than it is to show that the unemployment figure is now 10.5% instead of 14.3%…. n’est-ce pas?

Beware the spinmeisters.

The report says Ireland’s exporting companies are performing well, driven by significant competitiveness gains. Export volumes and values increased, while Ireland’s market share in world trade also grew. Growth in exports was facilitated and supported by the reductions in the cost base for firms, as well as improvements in productivity. As a consequence of lower costs and higher productivity, unit labour costs have fallen.

The main impact on falling unit labour costs has been a jump in output by the mainly foreign-owned pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors without any growth in jobs – – a slow growing wage bill divided by increased outputs results in lower unit costs.

The 270 actions will help but against a difficult economic backdrop, this jobs plan is consistent with previous ones – – there is no serious assessment of the challenges facing Ireland nor of the difficulties in opening new export markets.

Neither is there an answer to the inevitable route for spinout companies from university research with potential — they are bought by overseas companies before there is any significant benefit for the Irish economy.

The report says: “The Government will continue to place science, technology and innovation at the heart of enterprise and jobs policies so that we are favourably positioned to capitalise on the opportunities that will arise as the global economy recovers.”

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin TD in 2006 said Ireland would be recognised as a ‘world-class knowledge economy by 2013. It’s not going to happen and Switzerland, Sweden and Finland headed the European innovation rankings in 2006 and 2011 while Ireland moved from 11 to 12th rank (mainly reflecting the mnc presence).

Do we know why over €10bn spent since on the State’s science budget from 2007 has produced little in terms of outcomes? Do we want to know?

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says there is “little evidence of success” in the commercialisation of university research.

Besides, any information on where the markets will come from as indigenous firms have traditionally relied on the UK market?

The problem in Ireland for young firms is that there maybe a small or non-existent market for a service or product and without home selling experience, it is difficult to then sell overseas.

The link below is to an article that was written before today’s launch on jobs issues:

“Action Plan for Jobs 2012 builds on work across Government to deliver reform and create economic growth, and will deliver on the third major strand of Government’s economic programme. The first was the plan to rebuild the banking system’s capacity to extend credit into the economy. The second was the plan to reduce the interest rates for the government, banks and enterprise by cutting the government deficit and downsizing the public sector….”

Oh, my. I’m so impressed with the successful implementation of the first two strands I can hardly wait for this third strand, with its dangling carrot of 100,000 jobs over the next four years, to realise its full potential. But is it not the case that in the ten months or so since this government took office that 24,600 jobs have been lost throughout the economy?

Best of luck to them, though.

As for this cloud computing business, isn’t that all to do with our moderate climate? The ability to warehouse hardware on a large scale at reasonably constant temperatures without it costing an arm and a leg in energy costs?

Its just a rehash of old ideas again! These morons haven’t a clue!

I reckon the 100,000 jobs will be abroad!

I think it’s a very welcome publication, but I notice that some of the initiatives have already been completed like the reduction in stamp duty on commercial property from 6% to 2%. So how many initiatives are new?

You might have expected a bit more detail also, and you’re left with a lingering suspicion that streamlining services is more to do with cost-saving than enhancing service delivery. But this is probably a bit too cynical.

Well done to them. Now let’s see implementation and monitoring.

@PR Guy

I have often wondered whether a degree qualified person was required for a call centre. My understanding is that most call centre responses are menu driven, where the assistant runs down through the diagnostic options based on the client’s answers. If this is the case, you would have to wonder about the wisdom and economic cost of producing graduates rather than targetted call centre support courses (perhaps FAS already does this?).

Off the point, but Reuters carried a special report on its site on passports for investment schemes. St Kitts does very well. US and Irish passports highly desirable, but it seems almost every country runs one of these schemes. NAMA must be up to date on the trends.

@ veronica

Your’re right on climate – – Google opened a data centre in a former paper plant by the Baltic in Finland last year; Facebook is building a big data centre in Luleå, Northern Sweden, near the 17,000 student Luleå University.

Microsoft opened a data centre in Dublin in recent years.

@ Ahura Mazda

Telecity, the UK-listed data center operator that bought Data Electronics last year (2 centers in Dublin for £88m) has 27 centers spread around European cities. It has c.500 employees (including head office) or 18.5 employees per data center.

Citadel100, the super-new Tier IV data centre in Citywest that cost €60m to build employe a whopping 4 technical staff according to their 2010 annual accounts.

Telecity has been building and acquiring these things as fast as they could since 1998 and the company currently has an enterprise value of £1.5bn… so I’d say that matching their 500 jobs is very unlikely in the foreseeable future and I’d be amazed if the government squeezed 100 new jobs out of the sector countrywide.

All this tells me is that actions speak louder than words and that we are going to have over 500,000 people unemployed by 2016 most of them long term unemployed. With another 400,000 people having fled the country. It’s like Greece’s bailout, just words on paper. Try to implement it and it is an entirely different story.

@BdP: ” … … but you can’t just renege on old contracts and that is only just.”

Foreclosure fraud? Or maybe there were no lawful contracts in the first instance, so you could not be accured of reneging!

“Rule of law and all that.” “Something that is under appreciated but a very important ingredient in growth, … …”

Try that on with GS and the other Wall Steet thieves. They would have up locked up for financial treason.

Having gone through this document which is pretty lengthy, it is incredibly short on detail and quite waffly in places. As statements of intent, they are fine, that there are actions to be completed by 31/12/12 is also fine to enable monitoring, but it’s a little disappointing that there isn’t more tangible detail.

We can but hope.

@Brian Woods Snr

I did not realize that the rental agreements signed a few years ago in Ireland were fraudulent or non-existent. Any reason why we don’t here more about this?

Its about time that we stopped pretending. A contract has, I hope two sets of signatures on it. That’s it.

If A want’s out. That’s it. B has to negotiate, not bully. If I cannot exit an onerous contract, even if I entered it with my eyes wide-shut, because of circumstances beyong my control, thats’ what? It is now the modus operandi that those with the power and access to political influence ‘dictate’. Fine. But the consequences are not pretty.

My examples are real, though hopefully do not apply here. The mindsets are common.

I notice that there is going to be an examination of improving competition in the bus sector. And also, the Competition Authority is to identify sectors for investigation.

Sounds a lot more useful than this never-ending privatisation debate

This is a clueless document written by Civil and Public Servants and promoted by Buffoon Politicians who do not understand how business works. The most important issue for Entrepreneurs is to create a climate for business to operate in. There is a small section on ” Sensible Regulation” which has pious hopes. We have entities in this State that have powers greater than our Courts with absolutely no responsibility to anyone and in reality little or no rights of Appeal against their findings except to themselves at a cost that ordinary business can afford to use. Despite what the Politicians think there will be no upsurge in indigenous new business from this so called action plan because the Self Employed and and Owners of SMEs and more importantly their siblings have had enough.

@Brian Di Palma
Dail Debates 9thNovember2010 Property Services(Regulation) Bill 2009 Alan Shatter TD

“During the early years of the property boom,there was substantial public concern over the conduct of auctioneers and estate agents. What are appropriate ethical standards? There is something that needs to be said about this area and it is of specific relevance to the property bubble,the collapse of our economy,the profligate behaviour of the banking sector and the silence,to date,on the role played by auctioneers and estate agencies in that. There was conduct on the part of auctioneers and estate agents, who were acting in cahoots with developers and financial institutions,that can,at the most charitable ,be described as immoral and disreputable.
I believe there should be an inquiry into the conduct of estate agents and auctioneers during the property boom period between 200 and 2007. I believe there is a need for an independent inquiry. I believe there is need for formal evidence to be taken. I believe there is a need to examine the practices that applied. That helped to fuel the property bubble and auctioneers and estate agents were right in the middle. They were the conductors of the orchestra and there has been no examination of their conduct to date. I do not believe that this legislation adequately addresses remotely that particular difficulty and that particular issue.
Some of the landlords, in the context of pension or other funds ,are loath to reduce rents because maintaining them at an artifically high level allows them to in their annual accounts to present the capital balances in their accounts and the capital value of funds as being greater in theory than they may be in reality. It has been suggested to me that in some parts of the country landlords identify individual commercial tenants who they incentivise to agree a substantially incresed rent,in other words,a lease is concluded or a rent review is agreed at a higher rate but there is some secret benefit given to the tenant who agrees to it. The reason that is happening is that such rent review can be used as a comparator to force higher rents on a broad range of other tenants in adjacent commercial properties. If that practice is happening,it needs to be criminalised.”

Pat Rabbitte TD
“The government sat back while bankers,developers and auctioneers colluded to manipulate the market to facilitate profit-taking to such an extent that the crash became inevitable and families have been pauperised. I am less clear as to the powers of the authority to intervene where it is suspected that there is collusion and anti-competitive practices being operated by the big players in the estate agency business. There is no doubt that the big players in the estate agency business played no small part in artificially inflating property prices during the boom. Of course,in the vicious spiral that occured,the big players in the estate agency business fuelled the crisis,and were encouraged and abetted by the broadsheets that profited from property supplements larger than the main paper. Tenants including commercial tenants, have little or no confidence in valuers and auctioneers to disclose fairly and candidly all material facts with regard to comparable properties being let in the general vicinty of a premises. It absolutely sticks in my craw now to see some of those beginning to re-emerge onto television to give us opinions about the economic situation we are now in. They are crawling out from under the stones again-the banker economists who told us to party on and buy more houses because the prices are still going up”.

Alan Shatter TD
“They are advising NAMA”

Pat Rabbitte TD
“Some of them certainly are. They crawled under their stones for a couple of years but they are now beginning to emerge and the national broadcaster is beginning to feature them again. Some of them even have the audacity to tell us that they told us so. They did not. I am afraid to say that if they did,I do not think the newspapers would have published it. The newspapers were part of the vicious circle. They were making huge profits from fat property supplements and they were part of the collusion that went on between the big five estate agents, the newspapers themselves,the bankers and the auctioneers.”

@ Brian Di Palma
On the 15th November 2011 the Grafton Street tenants notified the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Union(ref no.2011/121371) and the Irish government,of a cartel in the Irish commercial property market.
This cartel had imposed on all Irish commercial tenants,the most anti-tenant commercial lease law in the world i.e.upward-only rent reviews(UORRs)tied to long leases. Tenants bought into these leases which implied commercial rents would be set by independent parties. This process was arbitrary,not capable of objective justification,did not comply with data protection laws and was clearly anti-competitive as organised by a cartel. Ourgovernment either colluded with the cartel or was criminally negligent by signing these ruinous leases,and wasting its citizens money. No other member country of the eurozone tolerates this ruinous lease law. Reckless Irish banks lent tens of billions against these ruinous leases not against the properties. In 2008 Grafton Street became the fifth highest rented street in the world. On 28th February 2010 the Fianna Fail led governmentbanned this ruinous UORRs lease clause in all future commercial leases. The tenants continued to lobby TDs to reform this feudal lease law in legacy commercial leases. In the general election of 2011 both Fine Gael andLabour had included the reform of existing UORRs leases in its’ electionmanifestos. In it’s program for government the new government pledged “We will pass legislation to ban upward-only rent reviews in existing commercial leases”. This reform was designed to stop the unnecessary destruction of thousands of sustainable Irish retail businesses and jobs. The Irish people had spoken, democracy had triumphed.

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