Taskforce meets for first time following Ford announcement to shut Bridgend plant
A Taskforce established by Welsh Government with the UK Government to support workers, communities and supply chain firms affected by the proposed closure of Ford’s Bridgend plant meets for the first time this morning.
The Taskforce, which is co-sponsored by Welsh Government Economy Minister Ken Skates and Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns, will be chaired by Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE and will bring together representatives from Ford, Welsh Government, Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, BEIS, DIT, Trade Unions, Bridgend council and others.
In order to ensure that the best interests of the workers and the wider community are best served, the Taskforce will focus on three key areas:
- People: focusing on those working at Ford Bridgend and within the Engine Plant’s supply chains to ensure they are supported throughout the consultation and in the future.
- Potential: focusing on the long term potential for the site by attracting new investment to secure its future and the skills of the workforce.
- Place: focusing on the wider impact on the community and securing a resilient future for the area and wider region. This area of work will be led by former First Minister and Assembly Member for Bridgend, Carwyn Jones.
The Economy Minister said:
This is an important moment in the future of this state of the art Bridgend site and its many skilled and dedicated workers.
The Taskforce will take into consideration not only the enormous amount the workforce and facility has to offer but also what can be done to support the local supply chain and community. In doing so, it will provide a clear steer on how best the Welsh Government, UK Government, Ford, local authorities, Trade Unions and others can work constructively together to support the region at this difficult and challenging time. I and my officials enter these discussions with a determination to work tirelessly and with all partners to find the best way forward for all concerned.”
The Taskforce will meet at the Welsh Government’s Waterton Technology Centre, on the Waterton Business Park adjacent to the Ford site, Bridgend. The main taskforce meeting will commence at 9am and will be followed by meetings focussing on the three separate work stream areas.
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