27/09/2019

Co Antrim Fair Offers 250 Jobs

Around 250 roles will be advertised at a job fair in County Antrim next week in the wake of Ballymena bus manufacturer Wrightbus collapsing into administration.

Mid and East Antrim Council is working to develop a programme of support for workers in the area after some 1,200 employees of the firm were made redundant.

In collaboration with the Manufacturing Task Force, council has identified roles that may be suitable to some of the staff, while also encouraging Government to use all of its powers to find a buyer.

The company, which is best known for building the London Routemaster, was in talks for a new investor amid ongoing cash flow problems. Negotiations failed to reach a conclusion last week, however, with the Unite union confirming it had been placed into administration.

Councillor Timothy Gaston said: "We continue to push forward and to secure a buyer for Wrightbus. The highly skilled, dedicated and loyal workforce at Wrightbus deserve this future, and we will not leave any stone unturned in our continued fight."

In the hope of matching staff with new employers, the job fair will run in The Braid on Tuesday 01 October, between 10am and 2pm.
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Chair of the Council's Growth Committee, Councillor Gregg McKeen said: "We are working through the Manufacturing Taskforce and to date we have identified around 250 vacant jobs across the Borough that may be suitable to some of the staff.

"I believe this will create a great opportunity for people to find their way back into employment."

A redundancy clinic is also taking place in the Braid today, Friday 27 September, to provide Wrightbus staff with information on possible next steps in their career.

Chair of the Manufacturing Task Force, Anne Donaghy said: "The people of Mid and East Antrim are known for their resilience. I have facilitated our manufacturers and together we have identified a number of job vacancies that could be matched at our job fair on Tuesday.

"Together we will continue to fight for our industrial future of our area, not only by trying to secure a buyer for Wrightbus but securing many jobs at the Michelin site, building a 9,000 square-feet manufacturing workspace for start-ups at St Patrick's Barracks, working to secure Queen's University £60m investment in St Patrick's Barracks to build an Advance Manufacturing Innovation Centre, and we hope that our Heathrow Hub bid, now in its final stages, becomes a reality and brings 5000 jobs to our area."



(JG/CM)

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