Deputy Pearse Doherty has criticised the Government over the low uptake by Donegal based companies of state-backed Lean Business Supports from Enterprise Ireland.
It comes after it was revealed that of the 574 allocations made to businesses under the scheme since 2009, only eighteen were provided to companies in Donegal.
The figures were revealed in a Ministerial response in reply to a Parliamentary Question tabled by Deputy Doherty this week in the Dáil.
Deputy Doherty said that as a government agency, Enterprise Ireland has taken a lead role in helping Irish companies apply ‘lean thinking’ to their activities and operations by offering a suite of supports and measures aimed at driving business efficiencies and improving performance and competitiveness.
“This has been achieved through the agency’s Lean Programme which offers Enterprise Ireland client companies supports targeted at all areas of a business’s operations from design through to production, delivery and logistics.
“The upskilling and training of staff and management in companies partaking in the scheme also forms a key part of the programme and helps business with the scheme’s main objectives of strengthening both the firm’s competitive building activities and export potential.
“However, despite the aim of the programme to help companies improve their operations, it’s been confirmed to me this week in a written response from the Minister for Enterprise in reply to a Dáil Question that while a total of 574 firms have now received Enterprise Ireland Lean Business supports, just eighteen companies in Donegal have received such an allocation.”
He added that while there has been a poor uptake by firms generally, given the threats posed by Brexit to businesses and the impact it will have on our exporters then this is understandably very worrying.
“And as we know Donegal, given its unique geographic location and close proximity to the border, companies here will be particularly exposed to the Brexit fallout.
“In this context, it is crucial that any state supports and assistance packages such as those being offered by Enterprise Ireland need to be bolstered, with a strong focus on specifically targeting particular sectors and regions, such as Donegal, where such supports are badly needed.
“Notwithstanding this, these figures are extremely disappointing and such a low uptake among companies here in Donegal raises very serious questions of the Government’s handling of the scheme, and the overall effectiveness, or lack thereof, of how it has worked to promote the scheme to local companies based here.”Tags: