HomeNewsTaoiseach's Speeches

Speech of An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., TEG – Jobs Announcement, Mullingar, 7 December 2018

Issued by the Government Press Office
7 December 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today.

I’d like to thank you all for the warm welcome, and to John for extending the invitation.

TEG is exactly the type of innovative, dynamic, and community focussed company that we need as we look to build on the economic progress we have made.

I would like to congratulate you on your success.
Today’s jobs announcement will create 40 jobs in Mullingar over the next two years. This expansion - together the official opening of your R&D building - is great news for Mullingar and for Ireland.

​In the Midlands there are now more than 128,000 people employed, and this includes 27,000 jobs created since 2012.

National unemployment has fallen from over 15% at the peak of the crisis to 5.3% today. A ten year low.

But this is not a time to be complacent. We need to make sure we protect this progress while enhancing the quality of life of all our citizens.

65% of total sales in TEG are generated from products that did not exist 2 years ago. Your success shows how much businesses can achieve when you are forward-looking and embrace new technologies.

The current revolution in automation and digitalisation means that today’s school children will be employed in jobs and industries that are yet to be developed. Technology will eliminate or transform existing occupations.

We need to prepare for these challenges.

So we are currently developing a new and ambitious whole-of-Government plan to ensure our economy is well positioned for the rapidly changing global and economic environment.

This initiative - Future Jobs - is aimed at:
• enhancing productivity;
• increasing labour market participation;
• driving innovation;
• creating the skills and talent for the future; and
• helping us move to a low carbon economy.

This will be a national plan. And it will enable us to prepare for the working world of the future.
And it complements Project Ireland 2040, our national Development and spatial plan.

Project Ireland 2040 provides for massive increases in investment in our public infrastructure – housing, transport, broadband, education and healthcare.

An investment of €116 billion over ten years to remove bottlenecks, modernize our public services, reduce congestion, and ensure that economic development is brought to all parts of our country, and ensure that we have the capacity for future growth.

I know people hearing politicians talking about 10 year plans and 2040 can be sceptical. It sounds like the ‘long finger’ talking. But that’s not the case. Project Ireland 2040 is already being implemented. Next year alone there will be a 25% increase in infrastructure spending and you can already see the results all over the country:
• New schools;
• New primary care centres;
• New Housing;
• Road improvements; and
• Cultural and sporting facilities.

So, what are our objectives? They are a shared set of goals which will deliver benefits to communities across the country:

• compact growth in our villages, towns and cities. No more sprawl;
• better accessibility to all parts of the country;
• a strong economy;
• a transition to sustainable energy;
• strong rural communities – 200,000 more people living in rural Ireland by 2040;
• access to quality childcare, education and health services; and,
• enhanced amenities and heritage.

In recent weeks we have been announcing funding under the four funds, and they included five projects here in Westmeath.

These were three plans to enable:
• the development of masterplans and feasibility studies for Loughaniskin Urban Quarter, Athlone Tourism Cultural Quarter, and Athlone Town Centre Regeneration and Enhancement;
• the expansion of the Canal Avenue & Environs Regeneration Project; and
• provide investment for the Blackhall area here in Mullingar.

As Taoiseach I want to make sure the benefits of our economic progress are felt in our communities’ right across the country.

I believe in the strength of Irish enterprise, in the collaborative character of Irish society, and in the innovation of the Irish spirit.

The story of TEG encapsulates these qualities and shows how they can lead to outstanding success.

The Government is committed to helping you innovate and drive job creation in Mullingar and beyond.

So congratulations on today's announcement. And I wish you all every success in the future.

Thank you.