As we shift to a low-carbon economy, there is the potential for widespread job losses in traditional industries, including the future of Bord na Móna workers. Labour would create a major fund to invest hundreds of millions into ESB, Coiltte and Bord na Móna, to create new, sustainable jobs in clean energy, recycling, new materials, eco-tourism and land management. Labour also wants programmes led by Local Authorities to retrofit all council homes, and to provide low cost, street-by-street retrofitting for landlords/tenants and home owners. This will also create thousands of sustainable apprenticeships and jobs.
Up to one in three jobs may vanish in the next 20 years, due to technological change, and new jobs will come into existence. People need lifelong learning and training opportunities to successfully move from one career to another. Labour will set up a Future Work Commission to provide extra resources for this and give employers responsiblity to provide the necessary training to their workers (a new Right to Train).
Brexit and International Trade
Labour wants a €1 billion fund to put in place to protect jobs, funded from existing State assets, to fund short-time working schemes and other measures to keep people in work during any difficult period. Labour would ensure enough money is invested in training and upskilling schemes, emergency relief for farmers and exporters, language support for those sourcing resources or seeking markets elsewhere, and extra funding to hire ships if needed to safeguard supply lines to the EU.
Overreliance on Foreign Direct Investment
Ireland benefits greatly from foreign direct investment (FDI) and the presence of multinational corporations (MNCs), but our economy has become too reliant on them to drive job creation. Labour will seek to rebalance our economic model, to strengthem indigenous companies and help them grow to scale sustainably. We would leverage State procurement to provide SMEs with greater opportunities to win contracts and introduce stricter social clauses to public tenders to encourage local employment.