Government Urged To Watch At-Risk Businesses

The Labour Party has called on the Government to impliment a 'watchlist' to protect at-risk companies from failing as Ireland's economic woes continue.

According to a Labour Party spokesman, almost 40,000 unemployed people have been added to the Live Register since Brian Cowen was elected Taoiseach in May, compounded by almost 500 job losses at separate firms in Cork and Offaly on Wednesday.

Willie Penrose, Labour Spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment said that there is no apparent strategy to either protect existing jobs possibly at risk, or to attract new investment.

"Howley Engineering in Carrigtwohill, Co Cork was a company with a €40m turnover and its closure will create significant economic problems in that part of the county," said the minister.

Howley Civil Engineering announced plans to close its facility in Carrigtwohill with the loss of 250 jobs, while firm Boston Scientific in Tullamore says it will be shedding 240 jobs.

However, despite the gloomy announcements, the director general of Engineers Ireland, John Power, highlighted the solid demand for process and project engineers, and said there are still significant opportunities in the pharmaceutical, medical device and environmental engineering sectors.

"The news from Boston Scientific and Howley Civil Engineering is disappointing but while the manufacturing sector is facing notable challenges, other parts of engineering remain strong," he said.


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