9 April 2014

Question Time: Enterprise, Trade and Investment Tuesday 8 April 2014


The Minister for Enterprise said she thought it was "wrong for us to say that we only want jobs in Northern Ireland for Northern Ireland people".  The Minister was replying to a question from David McNarry about "imported labour jobs" at Harland and Wolff in east Belfast. The minister said she understood that the short contract to work on an oil rig was initially for 60 days but had been extended. The figures she had were that of the 600 temporary workers, 200 were from Northern Ireland, 200 from Scotland and Northeast of England and 200 from other European countries. The minister said the wider economy of Belfast had profited from the presence of the workers, particularly in the hospitality sector.

The Minister said there was a shortage of steelworkers and welders in Northern Ireland following the decline of the shipbuilding industry. She said she would be happy to talk to the employment minister about developing workers' skills in that industrial sector.

During topical questions the Minister also provided answers to Members’ queries regarding Pensions: Agri-food Loan Scheme, the Giro d'Italia and Munster Simms Engineering Ltd.