A Jobs Plan From Stormont

The parties at Stormont recently produced a new Programme for Government. It includes the creation of 25,000 new jobs, a £50 million loan fund for small businesses and the building of social and affordable homes.

The areas targeted for jobs growth include inward investment, building, tourism and the creative industries.

The targeting of jobs through inward investment seems realistic given the competitive cost advantage enjoyed by Northern Ireland and particularly Belfast: an advantage that will no doubt attract many more jobs in the years ahead.

A number of international companies such as Citi Group, HBO and Allen & Overy have located in the city in the last year or so.

Even though the initial jobs are located in Belfast there is little doubt that the benefits will spread across Northern Ireland.

The jobs created include IT, human resources, business services, accountancy, creative design and legal services.

Many of the jobs are referred to as high-value, high-quality jobs and are defined as those with salaries above the average level of pay.

The jobs and the skills needed to fill them may attract people who previously had to leave because of a lack of opportunity.

The types of jobs are interesting as many provide support and services to growing international markets: a feature that will lead to the creation of additional jobs in the future.

The establishment of such jobs may prove to be a turning point for the economy, as the skills gained by people working in these organisations will benefit the broader economy.

SO, the Programme for Government may seem like a wish list but it may just contain some of what is needed to create more new jobs.

What do you think? Will the Programme for Government help to create jobs?

Leave your comments below.