The Department of Trade and Industry has called on manufacturers to give it an early warning of plant closures and job cuts.
The move is said to be designed to give the Government time to set up response groups to deal with potential problems and reduce the impact of closures. A £5m rapid response fund is being set up to help areas hit by large-scale redundancies.
Local regional development agencies will apply to the centrally-run fund for cash to spend on re-training and re-skilling those laid off by closures.
Taskforces set up to deal with the Siemens and Fujitsu semiconductor plant closures in the north east will be a model for future groups, said a DTI spokesman.
The Fujitsu Response group has sent out a prospectus marketing the semi-conductor plant in Durham. It plans to sell the plant as a going concern. Only companies operating in the industry are being approached.
The Fujitsu response group comprises three working parties one handling the sale, another focusing on new job opportunities and a third investigating the impact of the closure on the local community.
News analysis, page 14