Minister appoints High Level Group on Job Creation in the Killybegs region
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, on Friday 3rd June 2011 announced the creation of 158 new jobs in the Seafood Processing Sector. The Processing Scheme provides state investment aimed at generating efficiencies in the processing sector. 18 companies have been approved for grant aid of 1.7 million euro representing a total investment of 7.4 million euro in the sector. The jobs will be created over a three year period, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Irish Sea Fisheries Board.
"The projects approved for support create additional income and employment. For example, Fastnet Mussels Ltd in Cork will be investing in new capital equipment in order to produce value added cooked mussel products", Minister Coveney said. "Atlan Fish Ltd in Donegal are developing a value added processing area in order to increase production and broaden their product range, while Rockabill shellfish ltd in Dublin plan to increase production of value added prawn products and improve efficiencies through the installation of energy efficient equipment. In total 158 new jobs will be created around the country and will be a huge boost to local economies, many in rural coastal communities."
The aims of the Processing Scheme are to add value to Irish seafood products, improve efficiency, promote consolidation and create additional income and employment within the sector.
Minister launches new jobs initiative for Killybegs
The Minister also unveiled a pilot jobs initiative for the Killybegs region aimed at creating an additional 250 jobs in the area by 2014. The jobs initiative is a result of an economic study carried out for the EU Commission which assessed the status, development and potential diversification of Killybegs as a fisheries dependent community.
Speaking at today's announcement, Minister Coveney said, "It is clear from this economic report that significant job creation potential exists for fisheries dependent regions like Killybegs, provided there is a focus on the natural resources that are obvious to the region. I am conscious that there needs to be greater integration and 'joined up thinking' from state agencies and stakeholders in the region if this potential is to be achieved. With that in mind, I'm establishing a focused expert group to identify a direct series of actions that I believe can deliver 250 jobs in the Killybegs region over the next 3 years.
The Minister added; "The focus here is not on increased public expenditure but on leveraging better returns from the talent, resources and infrastructure of the Killybegs area. I am confident that this model of co-ordinated developmentally focused activity which is concentrated on natural resources can be a good model to drive economic development and job creation in the Killybegs region."
Key to the achievement of these new jobs is the seafood industry and the process of adding value to the natural resource on Killybegs doorstep. The Seafood Development Agency, BIM, in co-operation with Donegal County Enterprise Board will soon commence a course on 'Developing a Seafood Business'. The course will assist existing seafood businesses to become more competitive and efficient, to develop smart business strategies that add value to their activities and innovate on new products and practices.