Enniskillen job losses will have far reaching consequences for local economy: Erskine

Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA Deborah Erskine has said the news that over 300 BT/EE employees in Enniskillen have been told a proposed date of closure for their office later this year is a major blow to the town.

By Deborah Erskine MLA

Fermanagh & South Tyrone

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Mrs Erskine said, “Whilst the company are not being definitive, there appears to be no likelihood that the jobs in question will remain after the required consultation. This is a major blow to Enniskillen, with the loss of over 300 jobs, but primarily my thoughts are with all of those directly affected by the announcement. When the news first emerged in February, staff were told that the site was not likely to be a long-term location for a customer care centre, but that no final decision had been made.

There has been a significant campaign since that time in an attempt to retain jobs in Enniskillen if possible. I am currently engaging with the Chief Executive of Invest NI and I am awaiting a meeting in relation to Enniskillen with the Economy Minister. The consequences for the local economy in Enniskillen as a result of such a decision to close the BT/EE site are far reaching.

Regional balance in our economy is very important and particularly for areas in the West like Enniskillen which are further away from some of the main population centres and so opportunities are more difficult to access.

Whilst those staff who have not signed up to the voluntary paid leaver scheme have been given the option of moving to another location, this is not likely to be feasible for many people. The company has previously been warned about the reputational damage they could suffer as a result of how this has been handled, so it is incumbent upon them to ensure that the terms of redundancies put in place treat staff fairly.”

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