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Re-training hopes realized for MG Rover workers

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A package including training has been offered to MG Rover workers, following the collapse of the failed car manufacturer.

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Patricia Hewitt has announced a support package totalling more than £150 million, consisting of:

  • up to £50 million for training for workers made redundant at MG Rover and suppliers (£25 million of new money from the DTI, DWP and European Social Fund and priority access to £25 million from the Employer Training Pilots for companies affected by MG Rover in the West Midlands and nationally; and support for people wanting to start businesses);

  • over £40 million to cover redundancy payments and protective awards for Longbridge workers;

  • £24 million to establish a loan fund to help otherwise viable businesses affected by MG Rover’s collapse and for other purposes agreed by the MG Rover Task Force; and

  • £41.6 million already made available for MG Rover suppliers, which we announced on 8 April.

Hewitt said, that ‘immediate and practical help’ would be provided through a network including JobCentre Plus, Businesslink and the Redundancy Payments Service for those affected by the MG Rover collapse.

A rapid response service has been established by JobCentre Plus in Northfield, Birmingham to help workers identify transferable skills and re-train to match the skills of the workforce and the needs of the local labour market.

“Similar services will be provided at Jobcentre Plus offices in Redditch, Stourbridge and Halesowen. In addition, Advantage West Midlands is making an investment of £42 million for the redevelopment of the Longbridge site and the establishment of a technology park there together with a grant of £19.3 million to Warwick Manufacturing Group’s International Automotive Research Centre.

“This extra investment of £60 million will further support the development of high technology manufacturing and businesses in the West Midlands.

“We will also be asking for EU funds next week to match funds provided for supply chain support and training.”

Workers will receive statutory redundancy pay amounting to:

  • half a week’s pay for every year worked between the ages of 18 and 21

  • a week’s pay for every year worked between the ages of 22 and 40

  • one and a half week’s pay for every year worked between the ages of 41 and 65

A maximum of 12 weeks’ pay is allowed at the rate of £280 per week.

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