There has been further good news on the employment front as the Irish government has announced that it plans to create 14,000 new jobs in the midlands region over the next number of years.

This new initiative is named The Midlands Action Plan for Jobs and is the first of a €250 million series of eight regional plans.

Although recent unemployment figures have been postive, the midlands is one of regions in which growth has been slower when compared to larger urban areas.

The plan will cover counties, Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath and will specifically target sectors such as manufacturing, food, energy and tourism.

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The initiative aims to increase employment growth in the region by up to 15 per cent in a region that was one of the hardest hit during the fall of the Celtic Tiger with an employment decrease of 16 percent.

Further components of the plan include a new manufacturing technologies campus, new walking and cycling recreational trails to be laid beside the region’s waterways and the development of a new regional energy hub.

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The plan is hoping to attract 25 potential multinational investment projects to the area over the next four years and also includes the construction of two advance facilities in athlone and the appointment of an IDA regional manager.

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Speaking about the new plan, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: “The plan contains over 100 very tangible and time-bound actions which aim to create an additional 14,000 jobs in the region in the coming years.”

This has be welcomed as a massive boost to the area and a sign of further upward steady progress in the rebuilding of the economy.

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