Unemployment in Northern Ireland has more than doubled in just three months and, now, thousands more jobs in Northern Ireland’s aerospace industry are at risk. In Parliament, I called on the government to act urgently to safeguard jobs in this vital, world-leading sector.

Bombardier and Thompson Aero, which support tens of thousands of jobs directly and in the wider supply chain, are facing significant redundancies. Thompson Aero has announced 400 job losses, devastating the local workforce, and another 600 jobs are at risk at Bombardier.

The Government must step in with a strategy and support for the aerospace sector similar to that provided by France, Germany and the USA.

The aerospace industry is a jewel in the crown of the Northern Irish economy, and its highly-skilled workforce have fought again and again to save their jobs and preserve the world-leading work they do. They should not be abandoned now.

The OECD has already warned that Britain’s economy is likely to suffer the worst damage from the pandemic of any country in the developed world. That’s why Labour has consistently pressed the government to implement targeted support for industries that have been particularly badly hit by the lockdown.

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