Charlie Flanagan TD will lead a delegation of public representatives, senior Council officials and business people when they meet with Minister Richard Bruton and IDA officials at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation on Monday, March5.
Deputy Flanagan arranged the meeting in response to recent figures which showed that Laois have had the lowest grant support from the IDA in the country.
“I was very concerned when these figures were announced earlier this month. The figures are quite disappointing over the last number of years and I would be hopeful of an improvement. As it stands there are only 100 people working in IDA supported companies in County Laois.
“In terms of infrastructure and location, the county of Laois must be considered a priority for any company looking to locate their business in Ireland. I will be asking the IDA to make a concerted effort to ensure that any new employment opportunities are afforded to this region. I will also ask senior officials in the IDA why they have been ignoring Laois for the last number of years but even more importantly I will ask them to outline their plan for attracting investment to the county.
“I will also request that the IDA carry out a skills audit within the county to ensure that we have an adequately trained workforce available for when this investment arrives.
“This initiative should be carried out in conjunction with the recently announced “Pathways to Work” which will ensure that those who are currently unemployed achieve proper training to allow them to return to the workforce. This Government is an administration that is pro jobs and pro-business. We must not repeat of the mistakes of the 1980s and 1990s when unemployment remained high even after economic recovery took hold.”