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Economy Minister Diane Dodds has commented on today's announcement by Caterpillar.

The Minister said: "The redundancies arising from the announcement by Caterpillar today are hugely disappointing. The potential loss of up to 700 jobs would be a devastating blow to the local economy and many hard working families.

"The situation has arisen as a result of a decision made by Caterpillar at corporate level. The announcement and potential job losses are not directly related to Brexit or Covid-19.

"The company has clearly stated their announcement is not a closure announcement. I have confidence in Northern Ireland’s capability and that the Caterpillar operation will continue to be a key contributor to the manufacturing and engineering base in Northern Ireland.

"Since 2000 Caterpillar has invested £135million in Northern Ireland and been a major contributor to Northern Ireland’s reputation for manufacturing and engineering excellence.

"Invest NI will work with the Caterpillar Senior Management Team to mitigate potential impact on the Northern Ireland operation.

"The Department’s Careers Service is available to support those potentially impacted by offering free professional and impartial careers information, advice and guidance tailored to individual needs and helping people to explore future training and employment opportunities.

"Contact details for the Careers Service and information about where to access help are all available at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers."