Local jobs initiative will go national


PLATO, the Tallaght based business development is being expanded across country. Five new networks on the successful Tallaght initiative will be established in Cork, Limerick, Kildare, south Dublin and the cross Border region encompassing Louth, Newry and Mourne.

Pinto is modelled on a concept developed in Belgium and involves executives from large companies providing management advice and assistance to small business in their region.

The Tallaght project was set up by the Tallaght Partnership two years ago and involved 50 companies. It led to the creation of 164 jobs. The companies involved showed an average growth in turnover of 34 per cent and increased their sales by 80 per cent.

The five new networks will be: funded by the respective city and county enterprise boards, which are, in turn, funded by the European Union, and will cost around: £85,000 each a year to run. This works out at a cost per job created of £1,200, according to Mr Gerry Doyle, the chief executive of Tallaght Chamber of Commerce.

The cost covers the employment of a full time manager and secretary The cross Border project has received funding from the International Fund for Ireland. The projects will be co ordinated by Plato Ireland, a central support unit based in Tallaght. The expansion could create 1,700 new jobs, based on the success of the Tallaght project.

It is envisioned that each network will consist of 10 groups of one or two parent companies and up to 10 participant companies. The parent companies will provide two executives to act as advisers to the participant companies over a two year period.

The expansion was formally announced yesterday in Dublin by the Minister for Enterprise and Employment, Mr Bruton.