The following is a statement issued by Minister Richard Bruton, reacting to the announcement by MBNA. “My first thoughts are with the workers at MBNA in Carrick on Shannon and their families as they face a difficult and uncertain situation today (Thursday).
The IDA have maintained regular engagement with local management in Carrick on Shannon and with the parent Bank of America company in the US, and has been working with both to promote the strengths of the operation to a broad range of investors. I have spoken with the company and unfortunately, faced with a decline in business, the company have made a commercial decision to close this business and service their entire UK credit card business from their large centre in Chester.
The remaining element of the original MBNA operation in Carrick on Shannon, which was sold to Advent/Apollo in 2012, services the Irish credit card market, is working well and employs 250 staff. This facility remains a crucial lynchpin of the local economy.
All the supports of the State will be made available to the workers affected. I have asked the Enterprise Agencies under my remit to redouble their efforts to drive job creation and utilise the skillsets of the employees to find alternative employment. I have asked Enterprise Ireland to lead a response to the closure to co-ordinate the engagement of all key state and private sector entities to assist the employees to find new employment, upskill and explore opportunities through existing enterprises or new start ups. Agencies will include EI, IDA, the Local Enterprise Office, Department of Social Protection, Solas, Chambers, Department of Education & Skills etc. The following will be organised to assist employees:
· Representatives from the relevant state agencies to be available to employees on-site
· An agency information day will be organised for employees
· Idea generation and start your own business workshops will be held
· EI and IDA will engage with other clients in the sector with regard to potential business expansions
The IDA will continue to highlight the strengths of the Carrick on Shannon site to a broad range of potential investors. I along with IDA and EI will continue to make every effort to increase job creation in this region.
While we have seen much positive news on the jobs front in recent weeks and months, with a welcome significant fall in the numbers unemployed, today’s news is a reminder that we must fight continually to remain competitive, to win new investment and jobs and also to maintain the ones we have. Through the Action Plan for Jobs we will intensify our efforts to sustain and ensure continued job growth in the region and throughout the country he concluded.