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Job Losses in Manufacturing Industry

Part of Private Notice Question – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:15 pm on 20th April 2009.

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Photo of Arlene Foster Arlene Foster DUP 4:15 pm, 20th April 2009

I hear what the Member says about the administrators at Visteon, and I agree that dialogue is the way to sort out those difficulties. He referred to clawback: Invest NI provided Visteon with financial assistance in 2003 for the development of a fuel rail, and of that offer, £97,210 was paid. In that instance, the letter of offer contained clauses to protect our investment, and clawback will be invoked if we feel that there is a need for it. Having looked at the situation briefly, it appears that that will be the case.

As regards what the Department is doing to sustain jobs, I hope that the Member understands that my talks with the Minister for Employment and Learning are based on practical issues, and on supporting economically viable firms that may not be able to sustain jobs in the short term. I hope that we will able to do something about that in the short term.

We will continue to look for new jobs and new foreign direct investment (FDI). I met Invest NI international staff this morning in Belfast and I told them that this is a good place in which to do business because of our skills levels and our people. We still need investment from abroad, and there is a need to go out and sell Northern Ireland as a place to invest in. Although I totally agree with the Member about sustaining jobs, there is also a need to look for new FDI.