Minister English officially welcomes Regional Action Plan for Jobs Forum to Navan

Action Plan for Jobs, Business, Farming, Funding, Meath, Navan, Research and Innovation, Skills, Speeches, Startups, Tourism
Minister English, Minister Bruton and Tom Hayes Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager Regions and Micro Enterprises at the Mid East APJ Stakeholder Forum held in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan

Minister English, Minister Bruton and Tom Hayes Enterprise Ireland Divisional Manager Regions and Micro Enterprises at the Mid East APJ Stakeholder Forum held in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan

This morning the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan plays host to the Action Plan for Jobs Mid East Stakeholder Forum which will help to formulate and develop a Regional Action Plan to build on the existing strengths and opportunities within the Meath, Kildare and Wicklow Region. Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation was on hand to officially welcome business people, policy makers and fellow politicians to his hometown.

“Meath is linked with the Dublin Region but we are also a County of many unique strengths and talents in our own right. We are ideally located to interact and engage not just with Dublin, but with a number of other regions particularly the Border, Midlands and South East” Minister English told the gathering this morning.

“This Mid East region including Meath now has an unemployment rate of 8.7% which is second only to Dublin amongst all the regions and well below the national figure of 9.8%. This represents a very significant achievement when one considers that in 2012, when the Action Plan for jobs was first launched, the unemployment rate for the region stood at close to 14%. However we need to continue to build on this progress” Minister English said.

“Meath’s connectivity with all regions represents a particular strength that we should seek to build upon. We have a strong diversified enterprise mix with a range of outstanding forward thinking companies and businesses operating across a range of different sectors. Meath Enterprise and Meath County Council’s vision of a Boyne Valley Food Hub as a centre of national and internationally innovation excellence in food is another example of the forward thinking vision of Meath people, which was again highlighted today” Minister English said.

We have a large highly skilled and well-educated workforce. We have a strong ETB aligned to local needs, and a new stand alone Dunboyne Post Leaving Cert. College, with good access to a wide variety of other Higher Education Institutes in surrounding regions. We also have wonderful cultural, heritage and tourist assets that are world-renowned. These are just some of the assets and strengths we possess in the region and no doubt more will be identified during the course of this morning’s Forum. The challenge today is to identify how we can capitalise on all of these strengths. But it is a challenge I know the local business community, local educators and local policy makers are well able for” stated the local Minister.

“Nationally, in the forthcoming Budget, and in future Budgets, and also through the new Capital plan 2016-2021 we will be supporting and rewarding work and enterprise through reducing the burden of tax and reforming our public spending so it best serves the consumer” concluded Minister English.

English welcomes €1,961,488 Sports Capital Grants for Meath

Ballinlough, Ballivor, Clonard, Enfield, Funding, Health, Meath, Navan, North Meath, Sport, Summerhill, Trim

€1,961,488 in Local and Regional funding

Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation and Meath West T.D. Damien English has welcomed the news today Thursday 8th October of the Sports Capital Grants for the Meath.

“This is great news for community based sports groups in Meath , who work so hard to provide vital sports and recreational facilities for both young and old at a local level in their towns and parishes.  As figures this week from the Department of Health show 60% of our people are overweight and only 4 in 10 people are getting enough regular exercise, this money is a practical helping hand from Government to help promote a healthier Ireland.  It is a just reward for those who work so hard for their communities, and indeed those who compete in sport to represent their local area, County and in some cases Ireland” Minister English said.

Meath County Allocation €1,840,205

Ashbourne United Association Football Club Limited €30,000

Ashbourne United Association Football Club Limited €30,000
Ballinlough Gaelic Football Club €80,000
Ballivor G.F.C. €44,000
Bective GAA Club €31,000
Boyne Hockey Club €800
Castle Villa AFC €63,000
Castletown GFC €38,000
Clonard G.A.A. €123,000
Coolmine Gymnastics Club €14,000
Cortown GFC €8,000
Drumconrath GFC €31,000
DUNBOYNE AFC €15,000
Dunshaughlin Community Centre Ltd €18,000
Enfield Celtic FC €100,000
KNOCKHARLEY CRICKET CLUB €6,000
Meath Hill GFC €33,000
Na Fianna Hurling and Football Club €120,000
Navan Pitch and Putt Club €85,000
Omega Sub Aqua Club €16,000
Parkvilla Football Club €17,000
Rathkenny A.C. €18,000
Ratoath GAA Club €12,000
Ratoath Rugby Football Club €132,000
Ratoath Tennis Club Ltd €32,000
Ribbontail Paddlers Canoe Club €5,000
Skryne Gaelic Football Club €100,000
SLANE GAA CLUB €110,000
St Brigids GFC €27,000
St Mary’s GFC €123,000
St Michaels G.F.C. €62,000
St Patrick’s GAA Club €23,000
St Vincents GFC €40,405
Stackallen Lawn Tennis Pitch & Putt Club €14,000
Summerhill GFC €65,000
Trim Canoe Club €6,000
Trim GAA €65,000
Trim Tennis Club €63,000
Walterstown GFC €70,000

Regional Monies:

Meath and District League €121,643

Varadkar to officially open Navan’s Emergency Department – English

Health, Meath, Navan

“I am delighted that the Minister for Health, Dr. Leo Varadkar T.D., has accepted my long standing invitation as a colleague in Government and a local Minister to officially open the refurbished Emergency Department of Our Lady’s Hospital Navan.  While others seek to cast a cloud of doubt and uncertainty over the future of the Hospital, and undermine staff morale, this Government is investing in Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan and is commited to its future” local Minister for Skills Research and Innovation and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has said.

Minister Varadkar will officially open the Emergency Department on Friday, 30th October, before travelling on to visit St. Joseph’s in Trim.

Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan provides a general acute hospital service to the catchment area of Meath and a Regional elective Orthopaedic service.

The new Emergency Department refurbished and up and running since last year, and to be officially opened by Minister for Health, Dr. Leo Varadkar T.D. on Friday 30th October provides a 24 hour seven day service to patients presenting with injuries/illness ranging from life threatening medical problems to those with minor injuries and illness  for adult and young persons (i.e. >14years).  

The ranges of acute services at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan are as follows;

·        General Medicine, including MAU

·        General Surgery

·        Elective Orthopaedics

·        Regional Rheumatology Service

·        ICU/HDU

·        CCU

·        Emergency Department

·        Paediatrics (Out-patient Services)

·        Gynaecology (Day Surgery & Out-patient)

·        Acute Psychiatry (under governance of PCCC)

·        Medical and Surgical Day Services

·        Out-patient Services

·        Pathology Services

·        Radiology Services

·        Physical Medicine Services

·        Occupational Therapy

·        TSSU L/M

·        Pre-op Assessment

·        Palliative Care

·        Anaesthetic Services

Surgery

The Department of Surgery at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan consists of 4 General Consultant Surgeons. The surgical teams provide an on call service to the Emergency Department, seeing approximately 200 patients monthly. However there are no Emergency Acute inpatient beds.

The Surgical Department also provides surgical consultation to the Intensive Care Unit, Orthopaedic and Medical Wards. It also has a busy out patient consultation and elective minor surgical and Endoscopy service. The Department is also supported by a Clinical Nurse Specialists in Pre- assessment and Infection Control.

Medicine

The Department of Medicine at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan provides General Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Cardiology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology/Diabetes, Elderly Medicine, Physical Medicine and Palliative Care. The Department of Medicine is supported by Medical Assessment Unit which facilitates direct referrals from General Practitioners. The Department of Medicine is also supported by a number of Clinical Nurse Specialists in Rheumatology, Diabetes, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Heart Failure, Infection Control and Health Promotion. Surgical Acute presentations requiring admission are currently facilitated in a 1:5. A replacement Capital Project is currently in progress.

Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery
A regional elective Orthopaedic service is provided in Our Ladys Hospital Navan, this serves the population of Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Meath and North Dublin.

Minister English meets with IFA in advance of Budget 2016

Farming, Food, Meath, Wesmeath
IFA Briefing for Budget 2016 at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin on Tuesday, 29 September 2015. Photography by Brendan Duffy.

IFA Briefing for Budget 2016 at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin on Tuesday, 29 September 2015.
Photography by Brendan Duffy.

It was great to meet with the IFA locally and nationally today Tuesday 29th September in advance of Budget 2016.

Agriculture, and the wider agri-food sector is a major part of the Meath West economy, but it is often undersold, and under highlighted.

Thousands of jobs in Meath West are supported both on family farms, and in the wider food and drink processing sector.  The value of agri-related exports arising from product in Meath is almost €0.5 Billion.  In Co. Westmeath the value of agri-related exports arising from product in that County is almost €250 million.

This must be supported and encouraged into the future to promote even more local jobs and growth.

Minister English officially opens new Athboy Alpha Learning Centre

Athboy, Education, Skills

State of the art new facilities in old St. James’ Vocational School Athboy

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Local Minister for Skills, Research and Innvoation Damien English T.D. has today Monday 21st September officially opened Louth and Meath ETB’s new Alpha Learning Centre in Athboy.  The new further education training centre has state of the art facilities at the old St. James’ Vocational School in Athboy.

Minister English was guest of honour at the event which also included Members of the LMETB Board, local Councillors, local clergy, Principals of the local primary and secondary schools, staff of LMETB and representatives from local community groups and organisations in Athboy and surrounding areas.

The centre is a new addition to the 8 existing Alpha Learning Centres already in operation in Co. Meath. It will provide a wide range of programmes across a variety of areas, from numeracy and literacy to Leaving Certificate programmes and Advanced and Higher Certificates. These programmes will provide a pathway to further and higher education, and will help to transform the lives of those who study there.

Minister English paid tribute to the work of Peter Kierans the CEO of Louth and Meath Education and Training Board, Sadie Ward McDermott the Adult Education Officer, and Shauna Doherty the Community Education Facilitator in delivering such a fantastic project for the people of Athboy and surrounding areas.

Taster courses were available for guests at the official opening to sample what will be on offer in the centre. It was also an opportunity for potential leaners to speak with tutors and existing learners and the Adult Education Guidance Service Team of Louth and Meath ETB.

“2014 saw 18,600 learners partaking in Further Education courses with Louth and Meath ETB. 70% of these learners received QQI awards ranging from Level 1 up to Level 6.   With the addition of the Athboy centre it is hoped to build on this success and hopefully open up employment and further educational opportunities for the people of Athboy and surrounding areas” Minister English stated.

“I have no doubt the skills that will be obtained here will enhance  participants’ prospects of obtaining employment in their chosen area, or use these training programmes as a stepping stone to progress to Higher Education.  A well-qualified local workforce is key to keeping our economic recovery on a sustainable and regional footing” Minister English said.

 

Letter to the Editor of the Meath Chronicle: Jobs growth is putting lives back on track locally and nationally

Business, Jobs, Meath, Navan, Startups, Tourism

Friday, 11th September 2015

Jobs growth is putting lives back on track locally and nationally

Dear Editor,

Much of the recent commentary on jobs growth in Ireland ignores the findings of the Central Statistics Office which is independent of Government. There are many myths out there that must be challenged for the sake of fairness. Firstly though I want to say unemployment is still far too high. Whilst much progress has been made, this Government will continue to prioritise job creation until we return to full employment.

The CSO tells us we have had 11 consecutive quarters of jobs growth in Ireland. Total employment is up 126,000 since the Action Plan for Jobs was launched in February 2012. Locally here in Meath the Live Register has dropped by 27.7% or 3,229 people since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs in 2012, one of the biggest drops in the country.

Of the extra people now at work, 91% of them are full time.  Many of these people have good conditions and prospects. Over 70% are in occupations described as management, professional, technical or skilled tradespersons according to the CSO

Over 52,000 new jobs are in the IDA and EI supported companies where pay is above average.

Commendably, 35,000 people have had the courage to set up new businesses of their own, and we must encourage more of this.

The hospitality sector, which is up 15,000 jobs, does have a higher percentage of lower paid workers. However, this sector also has a really important regional spread of new jobs.

The total number of unemployed now stands at 211,000, or 9.5%, down from a high of 15.1%. The number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 81,000, down almost 60%.

Again, despite the myths, the CSO tells us that 64% of new jobs are outside Dublin.  Employment in IDA companies and in EI companies is growing in every region.

Young people were most severely impacted by the crash. Net emigration among young people peaked at 20,000, but is now down by 56%. In 2015, of the young people who emigrated, only 14% were unemployed before they left, 48% were at work and 30% were students according to the CSO.

The value of education is underlined by the CSO. Those who study beyond 2nd-level have half the unemployment rate of early school leavers.  With 25 new Apprenticeships unveiled by my Department for roll out by 2016, there are now more training options for young and old than ever before, especially for those with a more vocational skillset.

My target as a local T.D., and Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, is that everyone who wants a job should have one, and that by 2018, all of the jobs lost in the downturn should be replaced. Every new job means a life, a family and our wider community is back on track.

Yours sincerely,

Damien English T.D.

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation,

20, Watergate St.,

Navan.

Steady economic recovery continues with 27.7% drop in Live Register in Meath since 2012  – Minister English

Jobs, Meath, Navan, Research and Innovation, Skills, Startups

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation and Meath West Fine Gael T.D. Damien English has said that a 27.7% drop in the Meath Live Register since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs in 2012 indicates the steady growth in the economy in Meath, and it represents one of the biggest drops in the country.

“Each week in 2015 over 1,300 jobs have been added to the economy showing that the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track is working. All regions have experienced job increases and unemployment decreases in the past year, meaning that the recovery is spreading to all parts of the country.

“The latest CSO Live Register figures show that the number of people signing on in Meath has dropped by 27.7% or 3,229 people since the launch of the Action Plan for Jobs in 2012. 125,000 new jobs have been added across the country.

“While there is still more work to be done, the recovery is spreading to all parts of the country, and it is important that we work hard to continue to support further growth. A steady, stable and sustainable economy is that the people of Meath need and deserve. This is what the Government is committed to achieving.

“The Government is on track to replace all the jobs lost in the crisis by 2018 and to bring about a situation where there will be more Irish people coming back home to take up jobs.

“There is no doubt that more jobs and opportunities are needed here in Meath but the Live Register figures are very encouraging. However the recovery is still fragile and there are still people who have not felt its benefits.

“Fine Gael in government has cut the USC and reduced the income tax rate. It is important that we continue to add more jobs and to make work pay by reducing the tax burden further. We cannot risk a move back to the ‘if we have it, we’ll spend it’, high tax Fianna Fáil policies.”

Free GP card will result in real savings for over 70s in Meath and Westmeath

Active Retirement, Health, Meath, Wesmeath

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The start of registration for the Free GP Care service for people aged 70 and over is a great boost for the elderly in Meath and Westmeath and an important step towards universal healthcare.

Today’s announcement by Minister for Health Dr. Leo Varadkar means that from August 5th, all those aged 70 and over in Meath and Westmeath will be able to see their GP without paying fees. This is the second phase of universal GP care and applies to those who do not currently hold a medical or GP visit card.

A simple online registration system is available from today (Friday) on www.gpvisitcard.ie. Alternatively people can locall 1890 252 919 to receive a copy by post and the registration form will also be available in pharmacies and local health offices. People should note that persons over 70 who already hold a medical or GP visit card do not need to register. If anyone needs help or guidance they can contact the helpline 1890 252 919 (weekdays 8am-8pm).

This is great news for families across Meath and Westmeath as now, for the first time in Ireland, the eldest and youngest in our society will be able to access GP care without being charged.

Free GP care was a key Fine Gael election commitment and this is just a step along that road. Already this year we have introduced free GP care for under 6s. Now just under 40,000 people over 70 who had to pay for visiting their GP will no longer have to and this will result in real savings for pensioners.

The free GP card for over 70s is an important step towards changing the health system from one that only treats sick people to one that keeps people well.

€1,063,400 extra for Meath roads

North Meath, Roads, Transport

images

I have consistently said that the roads money raised locally by Meath County Council and allocated nationally to Meath County Council needs topping up by National Government. This is most evident in North Meath, but there are problems that need attention County wide too.  I am delighted to say myself and my Oireachtas colleagues in Government in Meath have achieved extra funding for a 3rd year running.

€1,063,400 has been allocated.  I hope that work can begin promptly to put this extra money to its most appropriate and maximum use.  As I have said before, like any household or business we will not get all the money to fix our problems in one go. This is however the 3rd year that the Council’ resources have been topped up.  With a few more years of consistent investment this is a problem we can get on top of.

We need solid, steady economic growth nationally to continue so we have the resources to spread around to areas in need like North Meath.

Minister English keynote speaker at Active Retirement Regional AGM

Active Retirement, Meath

logo

Today I was the keynote speaker at the Active Retirement Ireland Regional AGM for the North East.

The AGM, which also featured an Activity Day and Information Stands was sponsored by homecare for older people providers Home Instead. Former RTE Newsreader Anne Doyle officially opened the event.

It was an honour to address the Regional ARI AGM in the Ardboyne Hotel: As a Meath man, I am particularly pleased at the fact that Meath alone houses 30 of the 50 local branches in the region. An active healthy retirement is something which all of us hope and pray for. Retirement is a time in life to do the things that might not have been possible in the decades of balancing work and family. Keeping active – both in body and mind – not just means that you can fully participate in your community, but it also provides potential for huge social benefit.

My address touched on a number of issues

Gender and Mental Health

It’s notable that more women than men seem to engage with Active Retirement, and this represents a challenge for all of us: rural isolation and less social contact can contribute to poor mental health. Getting out and about and socialising can play a significant role in improving our well-being

Life long learning and mentoring

In my role as Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, I am acutely aware of the role which learning and education play in everyone’s life. Life-long learning is something which everyone can benefit from, especially during retirement.

It is a way of defining any learning that we engage in from cradle to grave.

As Minister with responsibility for Lifelong Learning, I know that there is growing awareness that education is a lifelong process and that learning should occur at all stages of life, in line with the concept of lifelong learning.

Nowadays, all of us have to continually develop our skills and further our knowledge to keep pace with a fast-changing world. But we also have a duty to share our skills and our experiences formally and informally with the younger generation, and to act as guides and mentors.

This is an opportunity for older people and for Active Retirement Ireland that I asked them to think about and act on.

Social Inclusion Monitor

I am very aware of the negative impact which our severe economic recession has had on many communities, and indeed on many personal incomes. However, it is worth noting that the State’s latest Social Inclusion Monitor, which reports on progress towards the national social target for poverty reduction, shows the at-risk-of-poverty rate at its lowest level since 2010. Ireland continues to have one of the best-performing social protection systems in the EU in terms of reducing poverty through social transfers.

Budget 2015

In the most recent Budget 2015 the Living Alone Allowance was increased from €7.70 to €9.00 per week at a cost of €12 million a year – 177,500 pensioners and people with disabilities benefited from this.

Role of Grandparents in Childcare

I know as the father of 4 children under 5 that Grandparents are playing a greater role than ever before as childminders, and in some cases raring a 2nd family all over again. This can be a really special and joyous experience, but I know too that the novelty can wear off. Some grandparents are older than others and not in great health. The views of Active Retirement volunteers regarding our childcare system and ways to reform and expand it are something I would also like to hear about so I can take them on board and pass them on to colleagues in Government.