The State agencies, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, which have responsibility for enterprise development, have been marketing the Celbridge facility for some months. An updated profile of the facility was circulated to IDA's network of overseas offices but efforts to attract a replacement project have not been successful. However, interest has been expressed in acquiring the facility for non-manufacturing purposes but agreement has not yet been reached on this issue.
Enterprise Ireland and the Kildare County Enterprise Board have provided advice to a number of Schneider employees interested in starting small businesses. There is considerable ongoing enterprise development in the ICT sector in the Leixlip area which should provide opportunities for alternative employment.
FÁS is meeting staff, who are being made redundant, and offering them its full range of support services, including career guidance, access to labour market information, and training courses, where appropriate, to enhance employability. To date, with the co-operation of the company, FÁS has interviewed over 100 workers for this purpose. Out-placement consultants are also working closely with the company in seeking other employment opportunities.
While I have not met interests from the Celbridge area in relation to the Schneider job losses, the State agencies, under the aegis of my Department, are working closely with them with a view to finding alternative employment for the workers affected.