Enterprise Ireland hopes to build on 2016 momentum as 'hard Brexit' looms

The number of workers employed by firms backed by the agency has hit a record high...

Enterprise Ireland hopes to build on 2016 momentum as 'hard Brexit' looms

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

Enterprise Ireland (EI), the Government agency responsible for developing Irish business around the world, has announced that 19,244 new jobs were created by businesses which it supported during 2016.

It added that 45,592 new full time jobs were created by client companies during its 'Driving Enterprise, Delivering Jobs' initiative between 2014 and 2016.

The agency has published its 2017-2020 Strategy – Build Scale, Expand Reach - today, which sets new targets for jobs and export growth in the coming years.

Chief Executive Julie Sinnamon said: "Our focus over the last three years to deliver jobs and drive enterprise has paid dividends, with 45,000 new jobs recorded, breaking the 200,000 milestone of people employed in EI supported companies for the first time ever. We aim to build on this success and ensure that Irish enterprise is well positioned to continue to succeed globally particularly in the context of Brexit."

She added that EI has, "Set ambitious targets in its new 2017 – 2020 strategy which aims to support more Irish companies with global ambition to achieve greater scale and expand their global footprint. This new strategy aims to increase client company exports to €26 billion per annum by the end of 2020 with an ambitious target to grow the level of exports to over two thirds outside the UK over the period."

Commenting, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “The results today reflect fantastic achievements by EI and its client companies. The Strategy has driven the greatest level of job creation ever achieved in any three year period by Irish companies.

The pound has fallen to its lowest level against the US dollar for two months after remarks by Theresa May appeared to indicate that the UK is preparing for a "hard Brexit".