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ConnectIreland has assumed control of the lobby group StartUp Ireland. ConnectIreland is an initiative to attract businesses to Ireland, and is backed by the IDA. The move comes as a result of a rapid increase in the number of companies planning a start in Ireland. In addition, the organisation plans to attract early-stage, well-funded startups to Ireland.

Founded in 2013, StartUp Ireland aimed to make Ireland a global startup centre by 2020. This goal remains unchanged. Furthermore, Startup Ireland co-founder Eoin Costello believes the move will help make this a realisation.

“If Ireland is to become a global startup hub by 2020 it is now fitting that a bigger, internationally-connected organisation takes on this mission,” he said.

“With its international network of connectors and deep commitment to playing its part in the economic development of Ireland’s towns, cities and regions, the organisation best placed to do this is ConnectIreland.”

Andrew Parish, outgoing chairman of Startup Ireland said the move was an "exciting new phase" for the lobby group. He stated that the merger would strengthen ConnectIreland’s engagement with the startup sector, both in Ireland and globally.

Joanna Murphy, CEO of ConnectIreland, called the move an opportunity for growth.

“This is a very innovative development for both ConnectIreland and Startup Ireland. Given the skillset that currently exists in ConnectIreland, this union will integrate seamlessly into what we do while also offering new opportunities and areas for growth,” she said.

Startup Ireland to host GEN Startup Nation Summit

This November Startup Ireland will host Startup Nations Summit in Ireland in Cork alongside Cork Innovates. This is part of the Global Startup Gathering 2016 and it is the first time the Summit will take place in Europe. The summit will showcase Ireland’s startup sector to a global audiences as well as promote entrepreneurship. The event also features mentoring, startup incubation labs and competitions.

Upskilling, opportunities and varied experience are increasingly important to employees as the Irish jobs market improves.

That may not sound like good news to many employers, but it is good news for the country. The jobs market has seen growth in both quarters of 2016. Foreign direct investment alone has created 9,100 jobs in the first six months of 2016. This is marginally up on a year-on-year basis. The IDA is “reasonably confident” of matching last year’s record levels of FDI created new jobs.

In addition, the latest Cpl Employment Market Monitor indicates that steady jobs growth has continued in the second quarter of 2016. The strongest growth was in accountancy, finance and banking. There was also modest growth in sales and marketing, science, engineering and supply chain.

Job creation from foreign direct investment looks set to continue. The IDA is already ahead of its 2015 -2019 FDI target. This aims for 80,000 new jobs, 900 new investments and €3bn in research and development money.

Upskilling, opportunities and varied experience

The growth in the jobs market has had an effect on employee expectations. Cpl’s research indicates upskilling, opportunities and gaining a variety of experience is increasingly important to jobseekers. Nearly half of those interviewed said they planned to spend around 2 years in their next role, with a third expected to move within the first year.

Cpl’s also found that opportunities, more than salary, motivated employees to look for new work. Just under half of all those interviewed claimed that lack of opportunity was the reason they were seeking new employment; a quarter said bad management had prompted their move, and 17% blamed salary.

While the jobs outlook is encouraging, attracting continued FDI may not be plain sailing. The American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland has warned that Ireland’s 12.5% corporate tax rate is not enough by itself and that that changes to the income tax code would “significantly enhance” Ireland’s desirability for investors.

Brexit may impart Irish jobs

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union could have significant effects on job creation in Ireland.

Director at Cpl Resources plc, Peter Cosgrove said, "A decisive approach is needed around the impacts – as yet unknown – of Brexit on Ireland. Otherwise, indecision and uncertainty could potentially impact the Irish FDI jobs market for the next two quarters."

It is believed that the IDA has requested additional resources from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to promote investing in Ireland.

“The IDA needs to be bold and ambitious in its efforts to woo companies from the UK to Ireland. If this requires beefing up resources at the IDA in order that we can have a stronger presence in London and in other cities around the world where large corporations with UK operations are based, then this must be done,” Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath said.

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has proposed an all-Ireland forum to mitigate the negative effects of Brexit, but has met with a frosty reception from Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Foster said such a forum is unnecessary. She was in Dublin this Monday with members of the Northern Executive to attend a meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC). The council discusses areas of common interest between the Republic and Northern Ireland. It also promotes co-operation between the two governments.

Despite strong support from Kenny and his ministers, the proposed Brexit forum was not under discussion. It is believed that Foster rejected the idea and was unwilling to talk about it.

Foster told a press conference that there were “more than enough” bodies through which Dublin and Belfast could co-operate. She therefore felt that Kenny’s proposed forum was unnecessary.

“I don’t think there’s any mechanisms needed because we can lift the phone to each other,” she said. “We may not agree on small things like mechanisms - we do agree on the need to work together to make the best for our people,” the First Minister said.

Foster also claimed that the forum had not been suggested to her.

“With respect to the forum that seemed to gather steam over the weekend, it wasn’t discussed with me over the weekend, or indeed before, and it wasn’t discussed at the NSMC today,” she said.

Kenny leaves forum invitation open

In contrast, Kenny claimed the idea had been rebuffed. He also added that idea could be revised should Northern Ireland’s government express interest.

NI’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin is in favour of the forum.  He called it “a good suggestion” and said it could proceed without the input of the DUP.

“I don’t think there should be a veto,” he said.

However both governments were keen to emphasise that co-operation would continue. They also claimed that they would work together to ameliorate the negative effect of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

EasyJet, the UK budget airline, may need to move company headquarters to a European city in response to last month’s shock Brexit result.

The airline has applied for an air operator certificate from the European Union to continue using EU air routes if and when the UK formally withdraws from the block.

"EasyJet is lobbying the UK government and the EU to ensure the continuation of a fully liberal and deregulated aviation market within the UK and Europe. This would mean that EasyJet and all European airlines can continue to operate as they do today," the company said in a statement.

"As part of EasyJet's contingency planning before the referendum we had informal discussions with a number of European aviation regulators about the establishment of an AOC in an European country to enable EasyJet to fly across Europe as we do today. EasyJet has now started a formal process to acquire an AOC," it continued.

The airline also noted that it does not need operational or structural changes as of yet, nor is it currently planning to move from Luton. However, should lobbying prove unsuccessful, the airline will consider setting up a new European base of operation. Dublin is seen as an attractive choice by many airlines because of regulatory and tax issues.

EasyJet and others issue profit warnings

The UK’s air travel and banking sectors were particularly impacted by the Brexit result. Ryanair has put new UK connections on hold for the foreseeable future because the uncertainty caused by the Leave vote. More than 25 percent of Ryanair’s sales come from the UK market.

"I don't think we'll open up many new lines in the UK for the next 12 or 18 months, until this current uncertainty is removed," explained Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O'Leary.

Aer Lingus, British Airways and EasyJet issued profit-warnings after the June 23 referendum when Sterling sharply fell against the euro. Economic and consumer uncertainty is expected over the summer, negatively impacting airline revenues.

 

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