IDA boss Martin Shanahan
A Laois TD is optimistic that the IDA could convert a rise in visits by multi-national companies to Laois into jobs.
Sean Fleming was speaking after himself and his Laois constituency colleagues Brian Stanley and Minister Charlie Flanagan met the boss of the agency that is tasked with attracting foreign companies to invest and set up in Ireland.
The meeting took place on Friday, March 1 with Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA (Industrial Development Authority) and Laois County Council. Deputy Fleming said he chaired the meeting which was a follow up on another meeting a year ago.
Dep Fleming claimed there has been a noticeable improvement in activities in terms of promoting job creation in Laois by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland and Laois County Council in the last 12 months.
"Since then there were 10 IDA visits to the county. This is a marked improvement on previous years and we are all now more hopeful that some of these visits will result in a positive job announcement for Laois in due course.
"Enterprise Ireland and Laois County Council have also been active in promoting Laois and improving the offering Laois can make to people from outside the area to come and invest in Laois.
"A key point in our meeting was to highlight that the majority of the 11,500 people commuting to work outside the county every day have a third level education qualification. Laois can now prove we have a well-qualified and educated workforce in the county suitable for any major company that wishes to invest in Laois," he said.
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The Fianna Fáil TD said that meeting reviewed progress towards job creation in the county. He said it is now obvious that Laois is much better placed to take advantage of foreign and major national investment in the county. Dep Fleming said the IDA boss told the meeting he is working on some possibilities for Laois but could not give us any further information.
"We are not there yet, but I believe we are now well on the road to securing good job announcements in the near future in Co. Laois," he said.
The TD said he would do everything in his power to ensure these State organisations achieve their objective of delivering new jobs in Laois.
Latest official figures showed that Laois and other midland counties top the table for unemployment. The counties also have the highest rate of young people out of work and education.