WRIGHTBUS workers made redundant after the firm entered administration are being provided with a programme of support from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the Manufacturing Taskforce.
The Council has already called for the Prime Minister, Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Head of the Civil Service, and Invest NI to come together to provide an urgent response to this economic crisis.
The Council believes a buyer can still be found for Wrightbus, and the Council continues to work to encourage government to use all their powers to facilitate this.
During the last few months Cllr Gregg McKeen and Cllr Timothy Gaston have been working closely with the Council Chief Executive, Anne Donaghy, in her role as Chair of the Manufacturing Taskforce in order to ensure all steps are taken to provide the appropriate support, information and response.
Cllr 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.”
Chair of the Council’s Borough Growth Committee, Cllr 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.
“In order to facilitate the match between the employers and those made redundant, a jobs fair will be held in The Theatre in The Braid on Tuesday 1 October 2019, 10am – 2pm. I believe this will create a great opportunity for people to find their way back into employment.”
This Friday (27 September) a redundancy clinic will be held in The Braid to allow those people to get the right information in terms of the next steps.
Chair of the Manufacturing Taskforce, Ms 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, we and hope that our Heathrow Hub bid, now in its final stages, becomes a reality and brings 5,000 jobs to our area.”