Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell and Minister for Employment and Learning, Dr Stephen Farry have expressed their deep regret at today’s announcement by Bombardier Inc to reduce its workforce in Northern Ireland.
Jonathan Bell said: “The impact of this decision will be hard felt in Northern Ireland, in particular by those personally affected. First and foremost, my thoughts are with the workers and their families as they absorb today’s news.
“The company has taken this decision to rationalise its workforce across all its sites in order to ensure its viability for the future.
“Between 2002 and 2015, Invest NI offered £75m of assistance to Bombardier, including £21m for the CSeries, in support of investment commitments totalling £844.5m. While Bombardier has said there is nothing we can do to reverse this decision, we will continue to work closely with the company and to explore other ways to support their drive for greater efficiencies.
“While today’s news is deeply disappointing, Bombardier Inc has made it clear that the decision has been taken to safeguard the company’s long term future globally and here in Northern Ireland.
“I want to assure the affected staff that, together with Invest NI, the Department for Employment and Learning, and colleagues in the entire Northern Ireland Executive, we will do all that is possible to limit the impact of the redundancies and help with possible retraining.”
The Minister added: “The company has reaffirmed its commitment to the CSeries project and Belfast’s critical role in its delivery. Confirmation today that Air Canada has signed up for 75 CS300 aircraft is a positive development for the CSeries project as a whole and I hope that in the long term as more orders are received, that we will see employment levels increase once again.”
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry said: “The job losses announced today by Bombardier are extremely regrettable, not only for those who have lost their jobs, but also for the families, communities and the economy as a whole.
“My Department will be proactive in determining what steps we can take to assist employees facing redundancy to provide them with advice and guidance regarding re-skilling, training and alternative employment opportunities. Officials will work closely with all those involved to ensure that the best advice, help and support are offered to all those affected employees at the appropriate time.
“My Department will also be offering redundancy clinics to the company and their employees. The Redundancy Advice Service works in partnership with a range of agencies including the Further Education Colleges and HMRC to provide advice and support on a range of issues.”