On 6 November, the Tanaiste hosted a high-level consultation forum on the Action Plan for Jobs 2018 entitled 'Building Resilience'. The forum was addressed by the Taoiseach, the Tanaiste, Minister Pat Breen as well as business people and academics.
SFA Assistant Director, Linda Barry, represented the views of SFA members, calling for a strategic long-term vision for small business to be developed and implemented across Government.
Skills needs was the major theme that emerged from the forum. Participants highlighted the need for enhanced provision of emerging, future-oriented skills, both at advanced and vocational levels. A range of proposals were put forward including new solutions and others based on best practice from other countries.
The SFA has already made a written submission to government on the APJ 2018. The submission contained 23 proposals that would boost job creation in small businesses, many of which came directly from SFA member companies.
The SFA submission highlighted the importance of the small business community to employment and promotes an ambition to add a significant number of new jobs and also a focus on job retention measures.
The priority proposals highlighted by the SFA included:
- Create a public awareness campaign to recognise and celebrate small business and the sector’s contribution to the Irish economy
- Improve ease of casual and part time employment for jobseekers and employers
- Introduce a voucher for domestic services to encourage labour market participation and reduce the shadow economy
- Introduce a Finance Voucher scheme for small businesses to use on financial training or consultancy
- Introduce ‘job-proofing’ of all policy proposals
- Publicise job creation announcements in small companies.
The full submission is available here.