Economy Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA, has expressed regret at the announcement by Caterpillar to reduce its workforce in Northern Ireland.
The Minister said “The decision by Caterpillar to seek 200-250 in redundancies as well as the potential closure of its plant at Monkstown is deeply disappointing. First and foremost I am mindful of the very direct and personal impact this devastating news will have upon the workers affected and their families.
“My Department and Invest Northern Ireland will continue to work to minimise the impact on all those affected. Manufacturing is vitally important to the local economy and we are facing significant challenges which are not unique to Northern Ireland as a result of global pressures, market slowdowns and business restructurings.
“Caterpillar are clearly experiencing a significant and sustained downturn in their business globally which has seen their revenues decline by 21% in the last five years. These job losses in Northern Ireland are part of the overall reduction of 10,000 staff across the company. The difficulties experienced by Caterpillar have been public knowledge for some time. As a result, we have intensified our engagement with the Company both locally and in the United States to ensure Caterpillar were fully briefed on the benefits as a manufacturing base and of the complete range of Government support available to them at this time.
“Between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2016 Invest NI has provided over £270million of assistance to manufacturing firms here and I am determined to continue to support our manufacturing sector. My Department’s Careers Service will provide individuals with tailored, professional advice and guidance about the options and support available to them including employment, training and education opportunities.”