Environment chief Mark H Durkan in jobs boost for Coleraine after DVA blow
An executive minister has moved to cushion the massive jobs blow to Coleraine with the axing of the Driver and Vehicle Agency.
Environment chief Mark H Durkan announced he intended relocating 70 DoE jobs to the town – and appealed for fellow ministers to do the same.
He and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton have been heading up an inter-departmental exercise which could also see DVA workers being offered posts outside Coleraine. They are expected to bring a report to the next Executive meeting.
He is also working with UK Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin to secure an additional 12 new jobs, which would be funded by the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Wales.
And Mr Durkan is moving existing posts in the DoE to Londonderry to further boost the local economy.
The minister said: "The loss of hundreds of DVA jobs is a devastating blow to the hard-working people affected and their families.
"I pledged to draw a fine comb over my department to establish as many posts as I could to offset the job losses and lessen the economic impact.
"Seventy jobs from an already dispersed department like the DoE is welcome. I am hopeful that I can secure another dozen jobs from Westminster to deal with vehicle excise enforcement.
"I continue to work closely with my Executive colleagues to try and ensure other Government departments will now make up the shortfall.
"I am also mindful of the economy in Coleraine and further afield that has been affected by the job losses.
"To that end, I am arranging to relocate 24 posts from DoE Planning, including the chief planner, DoE Marine Division, and some posts from my own private office to Ebrington Barracks in Derry.
"Some of the posts in Derry will be suitable redeployment opportunities for surplus DVA staff."
Other ministries are being asked to help with vacancies.
STORY SO FAR
The Westminster Government shut down the Coleraine DVA base after deciding to centralise the car tax operation in Swansea – axing more than 300 jobs, most of them in Coleraine
More than 50 posts transferring from Belfast will go to DVA staff in Coleraine and a further 20 staff will relocate to the town – helping to reduce the impact on the local economy.