Re-training and re-deploying skills are becoming the focus in Birmingham as the area steels itself for mass redundancies at Rover’s Longbridge plant.
About 8,500 jobs are at risk at the plant, with a further 50,000 in the supplier chain.
A task force of local businesses, Tecs, the employment service and others has been set up with £129m earmarked by the Government to help BMW redevelop the plant.
The task force has established an employment-scoping group to match the skills of Rover employees and its suppliers to vacancies. It is also looking for skills gaps that could be filled by providing re-training through the Tecs.
Unions have pledged their support. The AEEU promises to re-train any of its members that lose their jobs at its training centres at Esher in Surrey and Cudham Hall, Kent.
But Louise Beard, policy director at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, warned that the sheer volume of losses will make it impossible to absorb everyone.