A team launched to assist workers made redundant during the Coronavirus crisis is appealing for firms who are recruiting engineering and manufacturing skills to their workforce to get in touch.

The Redundancy Working Group, launched by Derby’s Economic Recovery Task force, has already been helping Rolls-Royce employees after the firm announced it might shed 1,300 posts in Derby this year and more in 2021.

It is also getting ready to help staff from other companies who may be forced to cut roles because the city struggles with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 emergency.

The group is using a website which allows staff to promote their CVs, and corporations to post vacancies so that skills-matching can take place.

More than 750 Rolls-Royce workers have already registered for the service, using more than 1,600 ‘hits’ recorded on jobs listed on the site and 82 applications completed.

“We all know that workers leaving Rolls-Royce will have significant skills that could be a great asset to other employers,” said Derby City Council Leader Councillor Chris Poulter.

“The net portal allows workers to see vacancies and submit applications, it allows registered companies to see displaced employees’ CVs and make methods to them.

“In short, we can connect talent and opportunity – helping both the companies and the individuals and retaining skills in the region. What we really need now is for additional engineering and manufacturing companies with vacancies to allow us know about them.”

The Redundancy Working Group is pooling expertise from the public and private sectors and includes representatives from Derby City Council, other local authorities, Unite, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, National Careers Service and TRS, which provides the web portal.

There is concern that the Derby economy will be particularly badly hit by Coronavirus because of the city’s leading role in the aerospace sector. As well as the posts being cut by Rolls-Royce, aviation logistics companies Incora and Gardner are also making redundancies.

Universal Credit claims in the city were up by 142 per cent in May compared to the same month last year there are fears that the local unemployment rate could hit double digits following the Government’s Job Retention Scheme ends later in the year.

“We want people to know that we are here to help,” said Councillor Poulter. “Whether that’s someone facing redundancy, a company that plans to cut jobs or perhaps an employer who is looking to recruit, we will try to assist, and we wish to hear from you.”

The working group is collaborating with providers across the region to develop a support package for Rolls-Royce staff, with a focus on four areas:

  1. Careers advice and employment support
  2. Education, skills and training support
  3. Advice on self-employment
  4. Legal, welfare rights along with other advice

Its initial efforts are concentrated around manufacturing and engineering, but it's preparing to work with companies and employees using their company sectors.

Companies interested in recruiting staff being made redundant by Rolls-Royce can register to use the web portal online.

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