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Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the imminent closure of Alstom's traction production; and what discussions she (a) has had and (b) will have with officials from Alstom regarding the closure of the new build train production. [116275]

It is disappointing that Alstom has chosen to end traction production in Preston. This is a commercial matter for the company but it will have come as a bitter blow to the workforce. We will liaise with regional partners and Job Centre Plus to ensure that individuals are given help to find new jobs or help with new training.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has held discussions with the company about its general restructuring strategy, announced on 12 March. Ministers and officials will remain in close contact with the company.