Tuesday, 24 February 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
195. Mr. English asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the measures that have been taken or are proposed to support the furniture industry in Navan, County Meath, which is continuously underpinned and is experiencing ongoing job losses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5700/04]
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): The furniture industry in Navan and in Ireland faces increased costs of production as well as competition from low cost economies. The industry has been outsourcing some of its production to reduce costs and maintain competitiveness and this has had an adverse effect on employment.
Enterprise Ireland assists the furniture industry by encouraging investment in innovation so that companies can increase home market share and develop export markets. FÁS supports the furniture industry in County Meath through the provision of craft training; 37 cabinet making and wood-machining apprentices from the county are currently in training with FÁS and other bodies.
Meath County Enterprise Board has facilitated the participation of six furniture companies in the county, including three from Navan, in a cross-Border training programme provided by the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Furniture Centre in Letterfrack, County Galway.
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