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McLaughlin calls for radical rethink on job creation

31 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin has called for a radical rethink on our approach to job creation.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"I share the sense of despair voiced by workers, local businesses and the community in Limavady following the announcement by Seagate that it intends to close its plant within the next nine months with the loss of over 930 jobs. This will be a demoralising blow to any economy but in the travel to work area affected by this announcement it is particularly devastating.

"I call on Seagate to repay the contribution that its workers in Limavady has made to its overall success and substantial profits by ensuring that those affected receive proper redundancy packages and retraining in the months ahead. If individuals receive job offers in the interim it should not affect the amount of severance based on years of service that they are entitled to.

"I believe that there are lessons to be learned from this experience. Other manufacturing jobs will come under similar pressure as multi-national companies seek to maximise profits by moving operations to emerging, low wage economies. Therefore, it is time for a radical rethink of how we plan for the future.

"If we are to compete for sustainable direct inward investment as well as build our indigenous manufacturing sector then we must equip ourselves with the skill and expertise in the higher knowledge based disciplines.

"We must invest in our future by encouraging our youth to focus on achieving qualifications in areas such as research and development, intelligent design and medical research that will attract jobs to the high end of the economic spectrum which in turn will have the effect of creating other levels of employment that will be less susceptible to competition from low wage economies." ENDS

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