Drafting of Action Plan for Jobs 2018 kicks off with ideas from small businesses

On 5 September, the SFA met with An Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald TD; Minister of State Pat Breen; Orlaigh Quinn, Secretary General of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI); and a group of officials from DBEI and the Department of the Taoiseach to discuss how the government can support job creation in small firms over the coming year.

Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA Director, and Linda Barry, SFA Assistant Director, commended the government on the successful Action Plan for Jobs programme since 2012 and the drop in the unemployment rate to 6.3%. They emphasised, however, that small firms employ half the private sector workforce and that these businesses still face many barriers. In this context a relentless focus on job retention and ambitious job creation is required from government.

The discussion centred around five key proposals from the Small Firms Association:

  1. Improve ease of casual and part time employment for jobseekers and employers
  2. Introduce a Finance Voucher scheme for small businesses to use on financial training or consultancy
  3. Introduce ‘job-proofing’ of all policy proposals
  4. Introduce a voucher for domestic services to encourage labour market participation and reduce the shadow economy
  5. Publicise job creation announcements in small companies, demonstrating the cumulative impact

The Tánaiste and her delegation were very open and positive to the ideas coming from the SFA and its members. She was keen to hear more about the specific changes that would make it easier to hire part time workers from social welfare, for example.

If you would like to share your experiences and ideas in relation to the five areas above or suggest any other ways the government could support small businesses to create more jobs, please contact Linda Barry on 01 605 1626 or linda.barry@sfa.ie.

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