The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys confirmed today that she has received no briefings from the job development agencies here of any further large scale imminent job losses.
Speaking to reporters in the Shannon Free Zone, Minister Humphreys said that she wasn’t aware of any other job losses due to be confirmed.
Minister Humphreys was commenting
Commenting on the double jobs loss, Minister Humphreys said: “This is a bad day for Munster - there is no doubt about that.
She added: “Two jobs losses which is disappointing but nevertheless there are many job opportunities in this area.”
Minister Humphreys said that she is confident that new jobs will be found for the people affected.
The jobs loss at Molex is the largest single jobs loss to hit the Midwest since the closure of Dell more than a decade ago.
The closure will result in the loss of annual salaries of €22.9m to the local economy from the 500 jobs and Molex workers approached for comment outside the plant today declined to comment on the shock closure of the facility that is scheduled to take place in 2020.
Today at the Enterprise Ireland offices at Westpark, Shannon Minister Humphreys met with a number of stakeholders including the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, the Shannon Group, the Dept of Social Protection and third level colleges in the Midwest.
'There is a great future for this area'
Minister Humphreys stated that arising from the meeting a core group from the Regional Enterprise Plan Committee will co-ordinate the response to the job losses in Shannon.
The Minister stated that a skills audit is to be carried out of the Molex workforce stating there is a rich pool of talent here from the old premises that they worked in.
Minister Humphreys stated that a jobs fair will also be staged to see what other jobs are available in the region.
She said: “There are jobs available in this locality… It was said in the room that this has happened at a much better time than 10 years ago when there was huge unemployment."
Minister Humphreys said that the unemployment rate was 16% 10 years ago compared to 5.2% today.
The Minister added: “I am absolutely convinced that there is a great future for this area.”
Minister Humphreys said that she had no plans to meet with the Molex workers today.
She said: “I have to be very conscious that this is a very difficult and very emotional day for the workers and I’m sure the last thing they want to see is the Minister for Business coming to see them.”
Minister Humphreys said that she wasn’t aware that the US-China trade war was a factor in the closure of Molex.
Clare Fianna Fáil deputy, Timmy Dooley was one of a number of elected representatives to attend the meeting and he said: “It was a focused, sharp, business like meeting and the people there were good people from the various agencies who are very focused on getting new jobs for the people affected and getting a replacement industry into Shannon.”
Deputy Dooley said that the job losses at Molex is the equivalent of 7,000 to 8,000 single job losses in the Greater Dublin area. He said: "It is a devastating blow."