Axed workers get advice on starting a new career

Reporter:

Lois Hough

WORKERS made redundant from a food factory have been getting advice on their next step.

Former staff from Headland Foods, Flint, the Co-operative in Holywell and Tetra Pak, Wrexham, were briefed at Deeside College on how to retrain and find new work.

They learned about ReAct funding, where people made redundant in the last six months or facing redundancy can get up to £2,500 to pay for courses.

More than 300 staff were axed from Headland Foods which will close at the end of April.

The announcement followed a 90-day consultation period to decide the future of the Castle Park factory.

The company, which makes two million ready meals a week at factories in Flint and Grimsby, was bought by Irish giant Kerry Group before Christmas.

Terry Earnshaw, quality assurance manager at Headland Foods, said: “Deeside College has been helping staff at Headland Foods for a number of months and their advice and support has been invaluable.

“It is encouraging for the local area that support like this is available.”

More than 150 workers at Tetra Pak learned of their fate in February after a consultation period.

Production at the food processing and packaging company will stop in April.

Tetra Pak worker Gordon Thompson, from Mold, is due to start courses including the European computer driving licence, website design and a range of horticultural courses with the aim of starting his own gardening business.

He said: “The event was well prepared and the staff have been very helpful and supportive.”

The Co-operative supermarket in Holywell closed in February  with the loss of 25 jobs.

The company acquired the store as part of its acquisition of Somerfield in 2009.
Patrick Leonard, college head of faculty for employer engagement, said: “ReAct training is about getting people back to work as quickly as possible.

“This event was an excellent chance for people to find out what training and funding is available.”

He added: “Being made redundant can actually be the start of an exciting new
career.”

See full story in the Leader

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