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Minister for Employment and Learning must do all in his power to protect jobs

16 January, 2009 - by Sue Ramsey

Sinn Fein MLA and Chair of the Committee for Employment and Learning, Sue Ramsey, has stated that the Minister for Employment and Learning, Reg Empy, must do all in his power to save jobs over the coming year.

Speaking today Ms Ramsey said:

"The Minister for Employment and Learning, Reg Empy, must all in his power to safeguard and supply jobs for the coming year. It is not good enough to predict that over 300 jobs per week will be lost without providing a strategy to counter this.

"He must provide an exhaustative list of initiatives and investments and examine cross departmental approaches to ensure that jobs are protected. If, at the end of the day, we can't say that all that was humanly possible was done to save jobs, we would be failing our citizens.

"For example, current apprenticeships in all fields need to be completed upping the skills base, the likes of social security staff job cuts must be rallied against and pressure must be placed on the banking sector to aid businesses facing a downturn or credit problems.

"However Sinn Fein have also highlighted that there are other factors inhibiting greater control of the economic crisis such as the delivery of greater fiscal powers to the Assembly and increased co-operation on the jobs front on an all-Ireland basis.

"If we look at the impact of Dell cutting 1,900 staff in Limerick, the knock on can be felt by suppliers and service providers in the North. To close our minds at the border will not help ease the economic impact. Reg Empy must grasp these challenges and act accordingly to sustain employment opportunities over the coming year."

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