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Norwich Union job losses questions Invest NI strategy : Sinn Féin

14 September, 2006

Sinn Féin has questioned the position of Invest NI on jobs creation and employment retention in Belfast as Norwich Union announced that it is making 100 local employees redundant.

Cllr Alex Maskey, who leads the Sinn Fein group in Belfast City Council said that at a meeting arranged by the party this week with Invest NI, the government agency claimed that the future of economic growth over the next few years would lie in back office customer services jobs:

Cllr. Maskey said:

"Invest NI claims about future investment potential are no consolation to the people who have lost jobs in Norwich Union. The first many staff knew about these job losses was when the an announcement was made on the news this morning. This morning, the office of Gerry Adams MP has complained to the company about the handling of this announcement and the decision which has already been made.

"The company is not dumping the jobs which are being lost in Belfast. It is relocating them. This begs serious questions of government agencies. Earlier this week, a Sinn Fein delegation met with Invest NI to challenge it over its lack of a coherent strategy for creating jobs in areas of highest deprivation and unemployment, like west Belfast. Invest NI claimed that the future solutions to long-term unemployment would be found in the very jobs which Norwich Union has announced today it is moving away from Belfast. Sinn Fein wants to know how joblessness in this city is going to reduced if Invest NI and the others with responsibility for investment and job creation cannot even keep the jobs already here?".

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