Dáil Éireann - Volume 627 - 14 November, 2006
Written Answers. - Job Losses.
Mr. Deasy Mr. Deasy
Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of job losses in Waterford City and Waterford county in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37469/06]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: The following table sets out the position in relation to the number of full time job gains and job losses in firms assisted by the enterprise development agencies under the aegis of my Department (Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland) in each of the years between 2001 and 2005 (agency data does not distinguish between Waterford city and county). Over the 5 year period there has been a net increase of 708 jobs in enterprise agency assisted companies.
Enterprise Ireland works with 185 client companies in County Waterford, employing over 5,000 people. In terms of job creation, their activity is focused on the creation of new jobs through supporting entrepreneurs in manufactur ing and internationally traded services companies who are setting up new High Potential Start-Up Companies or expanding existing companies. Enterprise Ireland is represented on an interagency working group set up by Waterford County Manager to foster economic development in the area. An Economic Development Executive was appointed to drive the project forward and the position has been operational since the end of 2005.
As the Gateway location for the South-East region, IDA Ireland is seeking to develop Waterford City as a first-class location for overseas investment with the necessary infrastructure, skills availability and support services capable of attracting investment into Waterford and the entire region. The agency continues to market its new Business and Technology Park in the city. In addition IDA has a total of 75 hectares spread between locations at Belview, Knockhouse and Waterford Industrial Park. In Dungarvan, the agency owns 14 hectares, adjacent to its Industrial Park in the town. Phase 1 of the site development has been completed and the first client has been secured.
 In October, I announced that Servier was establishing a new high-value manufacturing pharmaceutical facility at Belview, three miles from Waterford City. Belview is a key strategic site developed by IDA Ireland to attract a cluster of cutting-edge multinational utility intensive industries to the South East. The winning of the Servier project for Belview will be a strong attraction for further investment to follow. Servier is to invest €115 million in establishing a bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients facility at Belview; 155 new jobs will be created in this facility.
The Invest in Waterford initiative, supported by the IDA is also a welcome development and is useful in terms of its value to the overall marketing drive for foreign direct investment in Co. Waterford. In particular, the collation of important information on skills availability in Waterford is useful data to present to potential clients.
In the five year period from 2001 to 2005 Waterford County Enterprise Board and the Waterford City Enterprise Board has approved over €3.5m in grant assistance to micro-enterprise businesses in respect of 231 projects.
Mr. F. McGrath Mr. F. McGrath
Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his views on the future for a company (details supplied) in Dublin particularly in relation to the proposed €100 million investment where a high percentage of this is going on pensions and the redundancy package; if future grants will be given to the company; and if he will ensure the maximum protection for the staff. [37498/06]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: I was aware for some time that the company in question was carrying out a strategic review of its operation in Coolock. During the course of the review, the Chairman of the company and the Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland together with senior management from both organisations were in discussions.
I understand that the company was concerned about the high level of operating costs at the Coolock plant and decided that its current business model in Coolock was unsustainable. The options facing the company were closure of the operation or to streamline and increase efficiencies at the plant. The latter option is the company’s preferred option and this underpins its commitment to the long term future of the Coolock plant.
The option which has been chosen will require a reduction of 400 to 450 jobs. This reduction is expected to be achieved on a voluntary basis over the next three years. Discussions between management and unions will determine the best way to achieve this.
The proposed investment is a matter for the company itself and, similarly, the question of future grants is a day-to-day operational matter for the Development agency Enterprise Ireland. However, I am aware that a number of initiatives, including capital and research projects, are being explored in order to maximise the number of activities that can be undertaken at the facility. Overall, I am anxious to ensure the best possible outcome for all the staff in the company.
Dáil Éireann 627 Written Answers. Job Losses.