§ Mr. Roche
[holding answer 16 June 1997]:Representatives of local partners and Marconi Communications are meeting today to develop an action plan in response to the redundancies.
The local partners represented at the meeting include: Essex County Council, Chelmsford Borough Council, Essex Training and Enterprise Council, Business Link Essex, The Employment Service, Essex Careers and Business Partnerships Ltd. and the Government Office for Eastern Region.
The Action Plan will build on national programmes such as the Training for Work Scheme for the long-term unemployed and assistance available from the European Union Structural Funds under the Konver II initiative for diversifying the economic base of areas heavily depending on the defence industry.
Essex Training and Enterprise Council and the Employment Service have already agreed to allow Marconi employees immediate access to the Government's Training for Work Programme waiving the normal qualifying period of six months unemployment.
Further measures being considered for the Action Plan include advice and guidance, training course, help with job search and assistance to individuals and groups interested in starting their own businesses.
§ Mrs. Roche
[holding answer 16 June 1997]: Small and medium sized enterprises in the Chelmsford area are eligible to apply for grants from European Union Structural Funds under the Konver II initiative to assist diversification from defence-related activities.