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Small Firms Call for Re-Training

Article from the The Irish Times, 4 Jan 2011

Job creation must be at the heart of any recovery strategy, a leading business lobby group warned yesterday.

Small Firms Association director Avine McNally pointed out that 1,075 jobs were lost every week in the Republic during 2010, and said the outlook for employment was poor for 2011.
Ms McNally said job creation must be placed at the centre of any recovery strategy.
She argued that the Government needed to work to address a mismatch between supply and demand in the jobs market.

Ms McNally argued that the figures show that while jobs are being lost in low-skilled areas, there is still a shortage of workers in areas such as IT.

As a result, she said that any recovery to date had been concentrated in exports, but the more labour-intensive domestic sector had been left behind.

She added that retraining workers was the only way to avoid a long period of structural unemployment.

At the same time, she said that while businesses were tackling their costs, the Government was not doing enough to rein in the rate at which the State spends money.

This means that businesses are still trying to cope with costs that are outside their control, but within that of the Government.

“In the absence of reductions in these costs, small businesses will continue to have to further reduce the costs that are within their control, and this will inevitably mean a further loss of jobs,” she warned.