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Social Welfare’s one stop shop

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Tanaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton officially launched Intreo in Galway - the new integrated employment & support service provided by her Department at the Seán Duggan Centre, Fairgreen Road, Galway, where she was joined by (from left) Eoin Browne, Divisional Manager, Mary McMahon, Area Manager, Cllr Frank Fahy, Galway City Mayor, Regina Higgins, Divisonal Manager and Annette Murphy, Area Manager, Dept.of Social Protection.

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, has officially opened Galway’s new one stop shop for social welfare payments, serving the city and the majority of the county as well.

The new Intreo Centre in Galway city at Fairgreen Road provides a full range of social welfare services that had previously been provided from five separate offices throughout the city.

Now, customers, for the first time, have a single point of contact in one location in Galway city.  The catchment area for this new Intreo Centre is Galway city and its hinterland including east to Oranmore and Athenry, north to Claregalway and towards Headford and West including Oughterard and most of South Connemara and the Aran Islands.

Some 150 Department of Social Protection staff are based in the Intreo Centre which is headed up by Divisional Manager, Eoin Brown.   Almost 16,000 customers will be assisted through this office which includes income supports and tailored employment supports for jobseekers.

The new Intreo service in Galway will reduce waiting times for jobseeker payments, significantly improve customer service and, for the staff, the working environment has been transformed.

“Intreo has been a key element of the Government’s response to the high unemployment levels and it supports the objectives set out in Pathways to Work strategy to tackle unemployment.  It links the payment of income supports with supports offered to jobseekers in their efforts trying to find work,” the Tánaiste said.

“The type of support provided by Intreo is customised to each person’s skills, experience and qualifications.  A tailored progression plan is discussed and agreed by the jobseeker and their case officer.

“Intreo Galway provides a one-stop-shop for jobseekers where they can get their income and employment supports in the one place for the first time.  Previously, the Department’s services were situated in five different locations around the city,” she added.

The Tánaiste acknowledged the support of employers in Galway city and its environs in working with the Department of Social Protection by offering placements for jobseekers.

A team of 19 Activation Case Officers are currently working in Intreo in Galway with jobseekers.

There’s a broad range of employment supports available to jobseekers and local employers are key to the effectiveness of these supports.  Recent recruitment drives include collaboration with the Irish Hotels Federation and a number of local agencies and nursing homes.

In Galway, five companies have registered for the First Steps Youth Development Internship to date while 31 companies across the county have signed up to the Employment and Youth Activation Charter.

“This new Intreo Centre in Galway is an excellent example of how the Department of Social Protection has moved on from being a passive financial pay-hatch of old to a pro-active support for its customers.

“I am very pleased to see the Department and local employers engaging with each other, both with the same objective, to help create work and improve the standards of living for all society,” added the Tánaiste.

Connacht Tribune

Economic advisor gazes into crystal ball to come up with twelve key forecasts

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Predictions ... Cathal McDonagh.

A leading figure in one of the country’s top economic consultancy operation has forecast that 2020 will be for another strong year for Ireland.

Cathal MacDonagh, Managing Partner in Galway for EY, projected 40,000 more jobs, a small government surplus and GDP growth of 3.2% – but all based on the avoidance of a no-deal Brexit.

That outlook is slightly cooler than the two buoyant years Ireland has just enjoyed, though this is not entirely unwelcome as the pressures of fast growth are beginning to become more visible. The predictions assume the avoidance of a no-deal Brexit in 2020.

“Despite weakening global conditions, we believe the Irish economy is entering 2020 in rude health and expect domestic strength to continue,” said Mr McDonagh.

“We predict the labour market will slow only modestly as supply tightens and wage costs increase but with an expected 40,000 net jobs created and a 4% rise in tax receipts, we see a positive economic climate in what will be an election year.

“The rate of job and wage growth should support a healthy 2.4% growth in consumer spending in 2020. With the national savings ratio at a healthy level and confidence largely restored in the property markets, fears over Brexit and the global economy appear to be only having a modest effect on consumer behaviour.”

The upbeat outlook is tempered somewhat by the fact that Ireland still has €175 billion in debt and the challenges presented by extremely fast rates of growth.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Local brewery kicks off New Year with launch of new range of canned beers

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New chapter...Galway Bay Brewery founder Jason O'Connell.

One of Ireland’s most established craft breweries has kicked off the New Year with the launch of a full range of canned beers.

Galway Bay Brewery’s core range will now be available in 33cl cans, with all limited edition, seasonal, and collaborative brews available in 44cl cans.

The core range includes Of Foam & Fury, a double IPA; Full Sail, a simple malt beer; Bay Ale , a traditional ale; Althea , a modern American Pale Ale; and Buried at Sea, a chocolate milk stout.

Limited edition beers that are now available in cans include Weights & Measures – a citra session IPA – and Slow Lives, a German-style Helles Lager. New limited edition beers will be released in cans each month.

Galway Bay Brewery owner Jason O’Connell said they were very excited about this next step – and starting 2020 on such a high.

“In recent years we have seen increasing demand for cans of craft beer and have gotten a great reaction to the limited edition cans we have released using an outside canning service,” he said.

“We are delighted to have taken the canning in-house and to offer our complete core range, monthly specials and seasonal beers in cans.

“We do our best to be as sustainable and environmentally conscious as possible, and the fact that cans are greener in relation to packaging, shipping and recycling is very important to us as well,” he added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Flights promote Galway city and county on 6,300 airplanes coming into Ireland

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Tourism Ireland chief executive Niall Gibbons, Fáilte Ireland’s Liz Halpin and Inflightflix International CEO Martin O’Regan celebrating Ireland’s global reach via inflight entertainment.

A company established by a Galway man – making inflight videos for 29 global airlines – is doing his bit this New Year to bring tourists to his native county.

Martin O’Regan is the founder of InflightFlix International, which provides destination video guides to the airline industry.

They are to distribute its destination video guides promoting great Ireland experiences – including Galway city and county – to the inflight entertainment companies of all 6,300 airplanes with Inflight Entertainment that fly to Ireland.

The company will make its Wild Atlantic Drive and Dublin video guides available free of charge as inflight content to the airlines.

They say this will not only enhance the passenger experience on flights to Ireland but also inspire passengers using the airlines’ other routes worldwide to book a flight to Ireland.

“Providing these videos to airlines who collectively have 6,349 airplanes and fly 1.375 billion passengers annually is a unique opportunity to reach, engage and inspire a truly global audience to visit Ireland,” said Martin O’Regan.

“The Wild Atlantic Drive and Dublin video guides each showcase over 100 great things to do, places to go, stay, eat, drink and shop and each experience is featured for 30 seconds.

“The video guides are customised for each airline’s brand and airports can also use them on websites, emails and social media channels to market routes to Ireland,” he added.

Mr O’Regan said that he believed that this campaign would help counteract some of the negative impact of Brexit on tourism.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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