Thursday, 11 March 2004

Questions (74)

Bernard J. Durkan


71 Mr. Durkan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the efforts she has made to find alternative employment for the 300 former employees of Schneider Electric, Celbridge, County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8030/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise)

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 to date. However, interest has been expressed in acquiring the facility for non-manufacturing purposes but agreement has not yet been reached on this issue.

FÁS has and will continue to meet staff who are being made redundant, 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 more than 100 workers for this purpose. Outplacement consultants are also working closely with the company in seeking other employment opportunities. Furthermore, Enterprise Ireland and the Kildare County Enterprise Board have provided advice to a number of Schneider employees interested in starting small businesses.

I assure the Deputy that the State development agencies, under the aegis of my Department, will continue to promote Celbridge in the attraction of inward investment and will make every effort to secure alternative employment for the workers affected.

Question No. 72 answered with QuestionNo. 65.