Dáil Éireann - Volume 658 - 03 July, 2008

Written Answers. - Job Losses.

Deputy Olwyn Enright asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the actions or proposals by her Department, in conjunction with all relevant agencies, that have been put in place to address the growing number of job losses in the midlands; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26418/08]

  Deputy Mary Coughlan: FÁS provides an integrated support service for anyone made redundant. This involves information sessions, skills analysis, training/retraining courses and job placement.

Specifically, FÁS is implementing a range of short and medium term actions for those affected by the increase in unemployment and the construction slowdown such as:

putting in place training to upskill construction workers in relation to emerging needs

business training and mentoring for workers from larger enterprises entering self-employment

developing measures to ensure continuity in the apprenticeship system

promoting access for mobile workers to construction jobs elsewhere in the EU, including the UK.

FÁS is also working through its own Employment Service and with the Local Employment Service provided by Area Based Partnerships to provide increased interviewing and caseload management capacity to respond to the increased numbers on the Live Register. In the delivery of these services, FÁS liaises with other relevant agencies such as Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, the City/County Enterprise Boards and the Department of Social and Family Affairs. The development agencies have a range of supports to help companies to undertake innovation projects in the Midlands region, which are seen as key to future economic success.

Developments launched recently throughout the Midlands, which will generate jobs, include:

Plans for significant new town centre developments in Mullingar and Tullamore.

[746] Athlone Institute of Technology recently commenced the construction of a new €36m Engineering building and Athlone IT are examining the possibility of a new Research & Incubation Campus adjacent to the college.

Rosderra Meats is to rebuild its newly acquired factory and anticipate 120 new jobs within 18 months in Edenderry.