Over 19,000 jobs created by Enterprise Ireland-supported firms in 2017

Two-thirds of the new jobs created were outside of Dublin

Over 19,000 jobs created by Enterprise Ireland-supported firms in 2017

Minister Heather Humphreys with Minister Pat Breen, Julie Sinnamon and Terence O'Rourke | Image via @Entirl on Tiwtter

Enterprise Ireland says companies it supported last year created 19,332 new jobs.

This represents a net increase of 10,309 jobs for 2017, taking account of job losses.

The body says the net increase in jobs is the highest on record with Enterprise Ireland.

Job creation was evenly spread across the country, with every county and region seeing increased employment.

Two thirds (64%) of the new jobs created were outside of Dublin. The west, mid-west and north west saw the largest level of increases at 7%.

Enterprise Ireland says this strong performance by Irish businesses is due to continuing growth of an entrepreneurial climate for start-ups, allied to strong jobs growth in several sectors- including construction (8% increase), engineering (8% increase), lifesciences (8% increase), digital technology (6% increase), electronics (6% increase), food (4% increase) and ICT (5% increase).

Source: Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland Chief Executive Julie Sinnamon said: "Today’s figures represent another year of strong performance by our client companies who now employ over 209,000 people and are a barometer of the robust health of Irish businesses.

"Despite the challenge and uncertainty created by Brexit, Irish companies have continued to grow their global exports, supporting strong job creation across all of the regions of Ireland."

Business Minister Heather Humphreys added: "Today’s results are consistent with the strong employment performance across the economy.

"Whatever the outcome of the complex Brexit negotiations that lie ahead, it is vital that as a country we are ready, and that the Government continues to take initiatives to bolster the capacity of our enterprise agencies to drive exports and support investment."

New Brexit fund

Enterprise Ireland also announced the launch of a new Market Discovery Fund to support companies to diversify into new markets and promote new products to existing markets.

The new fund, which is a Brexit response measure, will support companies to appoint in-market accelerators, set up an in-market office, attend and exhibit at trade shows, develop market research and collateral.

There are three levels of funding available to companies: up to €35,000, up to €75,000 and up to €150,000.

Announcing details of the new fund, Ms Sinnamon said: "In the context of Brexit, consolidating exports to the UK, while also expanding the Irish export footprint in markets beyond the UK, is a key priority for Enterprise Ireland.

"The new Market Discovery Fund, along with our intensive international programme of export focused trade missions, and our recently introduced Agile Innovation Fund, are key supports which will be instrumental to helping even more companies grow and reach new export markets.

"The new fund further underpins our goal of increasing exports by €5bn by 2020."