Government is running to stand still on job creation
Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland: its aircraft maintenance plant in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, is likely to close with the loss of 400 jobs. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
It should have been a red-letter day for the Government and the IDA yesterday with Deutsche Bank announcing 700 new jobs for Ireland over the next four years.
Unfortunately, the shine was taken off it by news that Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland’s aircraft maintenance plant in Rathcoole, Co Dublin, is likely to close with the loss of 400 jobs.
Originally established in 1980 by Aer Lingus, this facility has had its fair share of restructuring over the years and it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that something can be salvaged from the ashes.
However, the signals yesterday were not good. The decision by Lufthansa had leaked out earlier in the week but staff
had to wait until early yesterday
afternoon to hear the decision from the company.
At a press conference to announce the Deutsche Bank positions, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said the Government would “stand behind” the workers at Lufthansa in whatever way it could to assist them.
The Deutsche Bank announcement was a significant coup for the IDA and the biggest jobs announcement so far this year. Recruitment will span out to 2017 and take the German bank’s employment levels here to beyond 1,000.
This offers the potential for staff being made redundant by AIB, ACC and Danske Bank to secure new employment.
The two announcements yesterday highlight the continuing challenge facing the Government in tackling unemployment and getting the economy back on its feet. What’s given to one hand is almost always taken away from the other.
Official data tells us that 3,000 net new jobs are being created each month and that unemployment has declined from more than 15 per cent to its current level of 13.2 per cent over the timeframe of our ECB-IMF-EU bailout programme.
Yet there’s a sense that we’re running hard just to stand still.