Government approval gained on legislation for Forfás integration


The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, announced today (Wednesday) that he has secured Government agreement to commence drafting legislation to integrate Forfás into his Department.

The aim of the move is to strengthen the capacity of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to drive job-creation policy by creating, from Forfás, a strategic policy division within the Department.

Since Minister Bruton has taken office, Forfás has become central to the policy-making process in the Department of Jobs and across Government, with the Agency playing a leading role in the development and implementation of the Action Plan for Jobs.

The move forms part of a broader reform programme being driven by Minister Bruton across his Department and its Agencies, including:

•        the merger of the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority
•        the reform of the five workplace relations bodies to create a streamlined two-tier mechanism
•        restructuring the enterprise support model for micro and small businesses, including the dissolution of the CEBs and the transfer of their functions, assets and liabilities to Enterprise Ireland
•        streamlining of science bodies – abolition of a separate office of Chief Scientific Adviser and the assignment of that position to the Director General of Science Foundation Ireland
•        restructuring transport and enterprise development bodies in the Shannon region

Making today’s announcement, Minister Bruton said:

“The Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and create the jobs we need is based on supporting and accelerating the transition that is taking place from the old economy based on banking and debt to a new economy based on enterprise, exports and innovation. We are seeing major progress in the economy, with more than 1,000 additional jobs per month created in the private sector over the past 15 months and record years job-creation in multinational and indigenous companies.

“However, if we are to sustain and accelerate this positive movement, we must continue a relentless focus across Government on jobs and competitiveness. That is why we are integrating the strong policy-making capabilities of Forfás into the heart of Government, to help drive job-creation policies across Government.

“Martin Shanahan and his team have made a major contribution to the momentum we have built on the jobs challenge in the past two years. I look forward to continuing the strong collaboration we have built, to drive new reforms in employment and competitiveness policies and create the jobs we need”.

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