Week’s events; Careers in tourism, new Enterprise train & the Global Economic Forum

20th November, 2015

As the economy continues to recover, we must continue to promote the sectors best placed to continue to create jobs in the years ahead. Tourism is a sector that is thriving with tens of thousands of jobs created since the lowering of the VAT rat a number of years ago. The broader sector already employs an estimated 205,000 people and plans are to add 45,00 additional jobs to that. With this in mind, I helped the Irish Hotels Federation re-launch its ‘Get a Life in Tourism’ magazine, which will be circulated to 700 schools across the country with a view to identifying the opportunities that exist within the industry and encouraging students to consider taking them up. The magazine is supported by an online platform and will assist students with career planning in the months and years ahead.


Earlier in the week, I welcomed the return of the first Enterprise train from Belfast to Dublin. The fleet is undergoing a €17.3 million transformation, which sees its interior and livery being refreshed and new on-board systems, including audio-visual passenger information; new public address systems; enhanced CCTV; and an electronic seat reservation system, being developed. This will make a big difference to commuters who can now travel in enhanced safety and style.


I address the IBEC Energy Policy Committee too on transport, its environmental impact and the role it has to play in addressing our future energy sustainability.


On Wednesday night I had the pleasure of sharing a stage with Johnny Giles as we launched a book; ‘Dalymount Park; The Home of Irish Football’ which was a real personal honour.


I had a Seanad Adjournment debate on improvement works around the home of Seán Mac Diarmada in advance of the 1916 commemorations and I also concluded the Harbous Bill Committee Stage at the Oireachtas Committee on Transport.
Later in the week, I attended the bi-annual Ministerial meeting on road safety with a number of my ministerial colleagues, including Minister for justice, Frances Fitzgerald TD. The aim of the meeting is to work together to address the challenges that road safety issues present.


The week concluded for me at the Global Economic Forum at Dublin Castle on Friday and Saturday. This Forum allows the Government welcome influential delegates from 29 Countries from across the world to Ireland. Since its inception, the Forum has played a key role in our economic recovery through the generation of job-creating initiatives and by helping to restore our international reputation through the deepening of links with the global Irish diaspora.


I visited the people of Cabra this week too to listen to what they had to say and, as always, to see the ways in which I can help.