Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Questions (95)

Enda Kenny

Question:

224 Mr. Kenny asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the initiatives her Department is earmarking or launching in order to curb the escalating rise in unemployment in County Donegal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2784/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

In recent months I met with the Donegal County Development Board and an IBEC north-west delegation to discuss employment in the county. I have arranged for the expert skills group in Forfás to carry out further research on the labour market needs of the region and I expect this to get under way shortly.

The key to enhancing employment in Donegal is the development of infrastructure, particularly roads, water, energy — including electricity and gas — air access and broadband communications, and a programme of work is being implemented in these areas. The Government, along with the industrial development agencies, is committed to ensuring balanced regional development, particularly through the implementation of the national spatial strategy and the recently announced decentralisation programme which should facilitate economic development in Donegal.