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Economy Minister Diane Dodds has called for an extension of the furlough scheme to protect jobs in Northern Ireland.

Around 106,000 people were furloughed in Northern Ireland under the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as of 31 January 2021.

Minister Dodds said: “This week we launched our Economic Recovery Action Plan. To enable us to reopen, recover and rebuild our economy, we need to ensure that we keep people in employment, and to do that we’ll need workplaces to reopen, customers to return and companies to get back on their feet.

“Some sectors, like hospitality and aerospace, will need more time and space for them to bounce back.

“It is essential that the UK Government extends the Job Retention Scheme.

“Businesses right across Northern Ireland need assurance and certainty to enable them to plan for their future."