MORE than 100 people have taken part in an event organised to help them find new jobs after the decision was taken to close a North West Leicestershire dairy factory.
Employees of Arla Foods had a chance to find new jobs and training opportunities this week, thanks to a jobs fair organised by North West Leicestershire District Council and the dairy company.
Following a consultation with its employees to close the Smisby Road site, in Ashby, last year, Arla Foods embarked on a scheme to support its employees in their search for new employment.
More than 120 employees attended the event where they met with potential new employers and recruitment agencies that specialise in driving, warehousing, food production and logistics.
Companies included United Biscuits, East Midlands Airport, Kerry Foods, Molson Coors and Brunel Healthcare.
Tony Gillard, portfolio holder for business at North West Leicestershire District Council, said “We are determined to do all we can to help employees find new jobs as quickly as possible.
“The district council is keen to support Arla Foods and its affected employees at this difficult time.”
Support agencies also attended on the day including JobCentre Plus and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
MP Andrew Bridgen said: “It is always disappointing to hear of a major employer leaving the district. However I am optimistic that with the transferable skills many of its employees possess together with the help of Arla Foods and USDAW, the district council and the JobCentre, many workers will find a new source of employment.”
Arla Foods has been running several schemes and equipping employees with transferable employment skills since the end of consultation process in September 2013. The union group, USDAW, also co-ordinated a redundancy support programme.
Claire Smith, from Brunel Healthcare, based in Swadlincote, said: “As a local business currently experiencing expansion, we were delighted to be invited to Arla Foods jobs fair.
“We have recently offered employment opportunities to a number of Arla employees who were sadly facing redundancy, and the fair gave us a fantastic opportunity to hopefully extend this.”