The Northern Ireland Executive is considering whether it should ask Europe for tens of thousands of pounds worth of grant money to help workers of the beleagured FG Wilson engineering firm retrain for new careers.
The Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment has said that it and the Department of Employment and Learning are mulling an application to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).
The European Commission fund is aimed at helping European workers left vulnerable because of the impact of globalisation and provides one-off, time-limited support, geared directly to the redundant workers.
Last week it was revealed that FG Wilson, part of the international Caterpillar corporation, would relocate production of 70% of small generator sets to China by early 2014. Around 760 people will be laid off from plants in Larne, Monkstown and west Belfast but the toll is expected to rise to over 1,000 in the New Year.
An EC report published earlier this month showed that more than 21,000 workers dismissed due to the economic crisis and the effects of globalisation were helped to find new job opportunities by the EGF.
The EU's Globalisation Fund paid out a total of €128m (£103m) in 2011 to assist these workers in 12 member states - Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Portugal.
While the fund has never been applied to Northern Ireland, it was used to help workers affected by the closure of Dell's manufacturing operation in Limerick in January 2009. Up to 1,900 Dell workers and 7,000 working in supply companies lost their jobs.
The Dell European Globalisation Fund was the first successful application of the fund in Ireland and was the largest successful EGF application to date, with a total fund of €22.8m (£18.3m).
However, while several hundred jobs were created thanks to the fund, it was revealed that €5.9m (£4.8m) of European Globalisation Fund monies secured for redundant Dell workers will be returned to the European Commission. The money represented 40% of the total allocation available from the commission for the funding programme.
A spokeswoman for DETI said that an application for the funding - which would have to go through the Executive and the Department for Work and Pensions in London - was "under consideration".
Jobs available in Northern Ireland yesterday:
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 
Care Assistant / Childcare 
Catering and Hospitality 
Cleaners / Domestics 
Construction Trades 
Engineering / Craft Trades 
Factory / Production Operatives 
Information Technology 
Managers and Administrators