Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Dara Calleary TD has said that the steel fabrication and welding industry faces ruin following the introduction of new EU accreditation rules. Deputy Calleary says that the government must provide extra support through the network of Local Enterprise Offices to offset the disruption caused by the introduction of the new rules.

Deputy Calleary commented, “Steel fabricators and welders face ruin following the introduction of new EU accreditation rules. Those that fail to achieve the new accreditation will be unable to sell their products to contractors and as a result they face the prospect of having to go out of business.

“Steel fabricators and welders across the industry are being forced to spend between €20,000 and €30,000 at a minimum to achieve the new standard. These companies are already struggling to survive financially without this extra burden being placed on top of them. They simply will not be able to achieve accreditation if they do not receive support from the government.

“I am calling on the government to provide extra support through the network of Local Enterprise Offices to allow them engage with the affected companies and assist them in achieving the new accreditation. The Local Enterprise Offices also need to step in and provide relevant information to those affected in the industry and to help share the administrative burden that has arisen following the introduction of the new rules.

“Only a handful of companies have achieved the new standard to date. This is driving down competition as contractors can only purchase goods from the businesses that have achieved accreditation. This is bad news for consumers and businesses alike and will only lead to an increase in prices if immediate action is not taken. I will continue to pursue the matter with the government until the industry is given the support that it needs to get through this difficult time” said Deputy Calleary.