Mid-West Action Plan for Jobs a Welcome Blueprint for Driving Economic Activity in the Region



Describing the recently launched Mid-West Action Plan for jobs 2015-2017 as comprehensive and ambitious, Shannon Chamber has pledged to become fully immersed in its implementation in areas for which is has the wherewithal, knowledge, skillset and linkages to make a lasting and measurable impact.


“We are delighted that the plan clearly acknowledges so many of the proposals we put forward at draft stage and now look forward to working independently and collectively with other regional stakeholders on the delivery of the one-hundred plus recommendations contained in the plan,” Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said.


“The Plan is all about growth, with some targets linked to capacity building and others with clearly measurable attainables. A key imperative is that, in 2017, we can each look back and take individual and collective responsibility if those targets are not realised. The will is there to make this region renowned for its sectoral specialisms, most notably in aviation, life sciences, engineering, internationally traded services, food and agriculture, not to mention the wealth of diversity in its tourism offering; let’s turn this will into quantifiable action,” Ms Downes added.


“Shannon Chamber has already fulfilled a number of key actions assigned to it in the Plan, most notably: the delivery of an R&D seminar in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland, Intel Shannon, Modular Automation and Reagecon  Diagnostics in early October, to encourage a greater uptake of research funding by SMEs; the hosting of a lean-focused workshop in Molex Shannon,  in partnership with Enterprise Ireland and scheduled for 10 November, to demonstrate the value and pay-back of lean in business and; the delivery of a ‘Doing Business in Britain’ seminar on 21 October, in conjunction with the British Irish Chamber of Commerce to assist SMEs with their UK export growth strategies. Almost 250 business executives and their companies will derive tangible benefits from attending these seminars.


“We do not not work in isolation; we have created a number of highly effective Forums for the sharing of knowledge and best practice in a range of disciplines, and our CEO Forum  has been singled out in the Plan for expansion as a Mid-West CEO Forum due to the collaborative synergies  it has generated among many of our leading employers in Shannon. We believe the formation of a number of new Forums, especially a regional manufacturing/engineering forum. will inject a new impetus into an already strong manufacturing base in the region.”


Summing up the overall benefits of having an Action Plan for Jobs specifically tailored to the needs of the Mid-West, Ms Downes concluded; “Shannon was a trailblazer in industrial enterprise in Ireland; it spawned the first clustered base of sub-supply capability in Ireland, post the establishment of Shannon Free Zone as the world’s first international duty free zone. This vast and dedicated enterprising capability remains, handed down through the generations; it’s time to ignite yet another wave of innovation, which encompasses all parts of the region, and attained through embedded collaboration.”