CAR giant Honda is already making plans to help employees deal with losing their jobs after last week’s announcement.
Yesterday, talks were held at the company’s plant in South Marston which included both Swindon MPs and representatives from Swindon Council, Forward Swindon and Jobcentre Plus.
The meeting was chaired by Forward Swindon’s Clive Parkinson and was used to consider the impacts of the Honda redundancy announcement and agree how to co-ordinate the response and deliver effective support.
All of the current workforce will receive letters by the end of the week outlining the planned consultation period and the next steps the company will be taking.
A spokesman for Honda said: “This week letters will go to everybody to let them know what has been said and information regarding the consultation period.
“This morning, a meeting was held with representatives from Jobcentre Plus, both MPs, Forward Swindon, Swindon Council, the Skills Funding Agency, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, and Business West to discuss what is happening next.
“We discussed what we need to offer our employees, whether that’s advice like how to write a CV or what benefits and grants are available to them.
“It is important from out point of view to see where we move forward and we have the support of so many organisations in doing this.”
The outcome of yesterday’s meeting was to set up a Task Force programme, led by Forward Swindon and Jobcentre Plus, to manage the package of support which can be offered to Honda and the employees affected by redundancy.
A dedicated project manager, Jill Annal from Jobcentre Plus, has been appointed to run the Task Force and ensure that the multiple responses are delivered quickly and effectively.
News of the job losses at Honda came days before Jaguar Land Rover announced yesterday that they will add 800 jobs at their plant in Solihull.
Car industry analyst Christian Stadler believes, in contrast to Honda, Jaguar Land Rover is targeting customers unaffected by the worldwide economic problems.
Mr Stadler, who is Associate Professor of Strategy at Warwick Business School, said: “JLR targets exactly the right customers at the moment: rich people in growing car markets like China, the US, and Russia.
“In mature industries like the car industry, positioning is particularly important and the recent announcements from Honda and JLR demonstrate why.
“Unlike Honda’s customers, JLR’s customers are people who are not hit by the economic crisis to the extent that they need to delay the purchase of a new car.
“Meanwhile, Honda is seeing demand in its European market continue to be low.
“Although production is up from 97,000 in 2009 to 166,000 in 2012 this is well below its 250,000 capacity.”