Axminster Carpets staff offered redundancy advice

PUBLISHED: 13:01 02 October 2019

Axminster Carpets factory. Picture Chris Carson

Axminster Carpets factory. Picture Chris Carson

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A redundancy response information and advice session is taking place at Axminster Carpets tomorrow (Thursday, October 3) following the company's announcement of further job cuts.

Staff at the factory were told last month that uncertainty over Brexit and 'challenging markets' meant it needed to reduce its workforce.

East Devon District Council's (EDDC) economic development service has co-ordinated the delivery of the redundancy response information session.

It will take place from 2pm in the carpets factory's boardroom

A range of support services have been invited to attend and provide information about their organisation or relevant area of work.

By tomorrow, each of the affected staff will have been personally informed of redundancy and will be offered the opportunity to go along and find out about universal credit/benefits, council tax, options for retraining and skills development, finding alternative work, support for self-employment and more.

East Devon's economic development manager will be there to listen to affected staff and advice as appropriate.

He will tell them about other local employers and offer free hot desking/workspace at the East Devon Business Centre in Honiton. Business Information Point will be sending a qualified business support advisor along to discuss options for self-employment.

A representative from East Devon's benefits team will also be present to discuss council tax implications and options.

Dave Clark will be attending from Job Centre Plus to share information on finding work in Devon and will be bringing along both Citizen's Advice and The Careers Service.

Axminster Job Club will be meeting that morning and may also have information to share.

Cllr Kevin Blakey, EDDC's economy spokesman, said: "We were deeply saddened by the news of these redundancies at one of East Devon's most established and renowned companies.

"This event will connect those affected with the right information and advice to help them find alternative roles, to upskill, retrain or think about self-employment as well as ensuring they understand about benefits and support available."

In a joint statement Axminster ward members Cllrs Andrew Moulding, Ian Hall and Sarah Jackson, said: "As a council, we'll do all we can to support the individuals and families affected by these redundancies, but as a community we want to be proactive in making clear just how skilled this workforce is.

"Axminster has a strong and resilient industrial base with many of our key employers both in and around the town seeking to expand.

"Access to skilled staff is a common issue for growing businesses, so we call on local heads of enterprise to contact Axminster Carpets to discuss the roles that can be offered to highly skilled and experienced local people."

The company has not revealed the exact number of workers set to lose their jobs.

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