IBEC Director John Brennan has expressed concern at the high level of redundancies recorded for January 2009. Statistics compiled by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment show there were on average 1,677 redundancies nationally each week.
Mr Brennan said: “The redundancy figures for January are very worrying but not surprising. What is particularly concerning about the high levels of redundancies is that our ability to create new jobs to compensate for these losses has been severely damaged by losses to competitiveness in recent years.
“Government must now act to help stop the flow of job losses and a series of emergency measures are required. Efforts must now be focused on ensuring that further largely sound and viable businesses are not allowed fall victim to the current economic turmoil.”
Mr Brennan suggested that the Government introduce a business viability fund to help those businesses suffering from the ongoing currency crisis. “Funding is needed to help reduce labour costs and support the marketing and sales functions of companies most exposed to adverse currency movements.
“Government must also act to restore the flow of credit to small and medium sized businesses. A Government backed loan guarantee scheme for businesses is a practical measure, which could be introduced immediately and would help secure thousands of jobs over the coming months,” he added.
In conclusion, Mr Brennan said: “We need to ensure that we sustain jobs, what we need is strong leadership from the Government, and all sectors of the community, to provide an environment that will allow companies to survive and trade their way out of this downturn.”