Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (15)

Dan Boyle


15 Mr. Boyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her plans for job creation in the Cork area following recent job losses in companies (details supplied). [8113/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

I am disappointed at the recent job loss announcements in Cork at Ridge Tool Company, CG Services, Jetmagic, Schering Plough and Irish Distillers, and I am conscious of the adverse effects on the workers, their families and the local communities. Finding alternative employment for the workers affected is a priority for FÁS and the State development agencies. FÁS is making available its full range of support services, including skills analysis, training and job placement for the workers affected.

In addition to targeting potential new greenfield investment from overseas industrialists, IDA Ireland is working with the existing base of companies in the county with a view to supporting them in expanding and diversifying activities. There is already a diverse range of companies located in County Cork representing a number of sectors, including international services, engineering, pharmaceuticals and consumer products.

There are currently 134 IDA assisted companies in County Cork employing approximately 18,000 people, an increase of 20% in IDA supported employment since 1999. In 2003, the agency announced 11 new projects for the Cork area, with a job potential of 800 including manufacturing, international services and high value research and development based activities. As regards indigenous companies, Enterprise Ireland provided assistance packages of €10.5 million in 2003 for the Cork area, with the companies concerned committed to invest €55.9 million to develop their businesses.

The major decentralisation package announced in the budget includes over 1,000 jobs to be relocated to County Cork. This move demonstrates the Government's commitment to balanced regional development and will provide a further boost to enterprise development in Cork. The State development agencies under the aegis of my Department will continue to actively promote both Cork city and county for investment and job creation.