HC Deb 05 May 2004 vol 420 c1538W
Mr. Trimble

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the assistance he can give to workers recently made redundant at the TK-ECC plant, Dundonald; and what meetings have been(a) held and (b) arranged with representatives of the workers regarding future employment prospects. [165909]

Mr. Spellar

Following meetings with TK-ECC Senior Management on 25 February and 3 March 2004, officials from the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) took the lead in co-ordinating an inter-Departmental Out reach Service at the company's premises at Dundonald from Monday 8 to Friday 12 March. Representatives from DEL, Invest NI, Social Security Agency and the Inland Revenue provided advice and guidance on a wide range of services including referrals to jobs and training opportunities, benefit claims and entitlement, advice on business start-up and entitlement to tax credits.

The primary objective of the Outreach Service was to secure alternative employment for as many of the work force as possible. In excess of 150 people were subsequently submitted to job vacancies with a further 120 receiving information and advice on training opportunities. In addition, Invest NI entered into discussion with 36 employees, 25 of whom were seeking to start their own business, with a further 11 seeking general business advice and direction. Invest NI also held preliminary discussions with the Managing Director of TK-ECC who was investigating the possibility of a new business venture. To date this has not progressed beyond the preliminary stage.

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