Small businesses in Ireland keen to provide training, pay rises

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A survey from Ireland's Small Firms Association has found that 82 percent of small businesses provide or support formal training or education for their employees, while 60 percent are set to offer a pay increase averaging two percent in 2017.

The SFA's Survey on Pay and Conditions also found that the average rates of basic pay ranged from 429 euros ($455) per week for a care assistant to 767 euros per week for an electrician.

"Over half the private sector workforce, some 800,000 people, are employed in small firms," Patricia Callan, director of the SFA, said in a statement on Monday.

"Our survey shows that they are offering attractive pay and conditions of employment and in 60% of companies, workers will receive on average a 2% pay increase this year," Callan went on to add.

The SFA defined small firms as companies employing less than fifty people.

Small to medium sized enterprises – or SMEs, businesses which employ less than 250 people – are a crucial part of the European Union's economy. According to the European Commission, SMEs account for 99 percent of all businesses in the EU.

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