Just over 215,000 people are now employed in companies supported by the agency
Companies supported by Enterprise Ireland created nearly 19,000 new jobs last year.
The agency, which is responsible for developing Irish businesses around the world, said just over 215,000 people are now employed in companies it supports.
The figure is the highest in the agency’s 20-year history.
Of the 18,846 new jobs created last year, nearly two-thirds were created outside of Dublin.
Business Minister Heather Humphreys said the results “are a great achievement and a testament to the resilience of Irish companies in the context of Brexit.”
“They are particularly welcome in the context of similarly strong results from IDA-supported companies in 2018,” she said.
“I am especially pleased that 61% of the jobs created were from regionally-based companies and to see that there were increases in every region.
“In addition to providing employment, these State-backed companies make a significant contribution to the economy and spent €26.8bn in 2017.”
Delighted to welcome @Entirl & members of the media to @EnterInnov to announce the highest level ever employed by EI-supported companies in 2018. Together with @IDAIRELAND’s record results for the year, it’s a positive start to 2019. pic.twitter.com/uro8uU3kip— Heather Humphreys (@HHumphreysFG) January 9, 2019
She said the government’s focus must now “shift from getting people back to work to creating sustainable jobs that can deal with new challenges and embrace new technologies.”
She said she will launch the new Future Jobs plan next month in an effort to “guide the next phase of Ireland's economic development.”
The positive results came with a warning however, as the agency warned that 2019 looks set to be challenging for Irish exporters with the March 29th Brexit deadline approaching and uncertainty continuing.
Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon said thousands of jobs will be affected if there is a no deal Brexit.
“We have 1,600 companies that are exporting into the UK and 600 of those are more vulnerable than the rest because of the percentage of their business that is going in there,” she said.
“If you look at the employment in those companies, there is almost 25,000 jobs associated with them.
“It really depends on what the end deal is as to what the level of exposure would be – but it would be a massive issue for many of those companies.”
€74m in State funding was paid out to @Entirl clients in Brexit supports last year. Govt also provides supports & advice through my Dept @EnterInnov, @agriculture_ie, @IRLDeptFinance, @SBCIreland @Bordbia @Inter_Trade @Loc_Enterprise @TheHSA @NSAI_Standards & more #BrexitReady— Heather Humphreys (@HHumphreysFG) January 9, 2019
She said over 1,000 Brexit-exposed companies were given “Brexit interventions” last year – including contingency planning and training in innovation, competitiveness and diversification.
The 600 companies who are most exposed have developed new growth plans to mitigate against Brexit.