The Government are not aware of the serious situation facing hundreds of small welding and steel fabrication firms who are facing closure as a result of the new EU regulations that are now in place in the industry. I raised the matter in the Dail on Thursday.
“The Government don’t seem to understand the situation. The new regulations mean that it could cost between 15,000 and 30,000 Euro for small companies to be able to comply with the regulations and that cost is beyond the majority of the companies in this sector. We need to get co-operation between all the parties, the Local Enterprise Offices, Solas, Skillnet and Enterprise Ireland, to address this problem seriously. The LEO office in Roscommon and Cait Kenny in particular has been a brilliant help in that regard but it is not the same story in other areas around the country”
“We have to get funding to help out these small companies or there will be widespread job losses and that’s the last thing we want in rural Ireland at this present time. Minister Deenihan gave a totally inadequate reply, and while it is not his area of responsibility, it is clear whoever wrote the Dail reply to my question hasn’t a clue what is happening on the ground. I asked the Minister go back to whoever wrote the reply to explain to them the real facts on the ground and that jobs are going to be lost here. As a nation we do not want to lose jobs but promote them. The LEO boards are dealing with each group of welders in their respective counties. The boards need the funding for compliance training to save these jobs. The clock is ticking with many of these welding companies near the eleventh hour. When they look for work off the larger builders, they cannot tender because they cannot get the new welder certification. This issue has to be addressed urgently. It is a crisis situation”