HUNDREDS of workers at a doomed electrical distribution centre are being offered help to get back on their feet as part of an urgent jobs summit.
Bosses at the Dutch-owned company Hagemeyer at Runcorn's Manor Park have joined forces with Halton Borough Council and Job Centre Plus, in a bid to neutralise the recent shedding of 500 jobs.
The recruitment drive at the national distribution centre is due to take place in the coming weeks, in advance of the official closure date on September 1.
Staff are blaming the poor quality of temporary workers coupled with bad management and overstaffing for running the business into the ground.
The forced redundancies will take place once a 90-day consultation process is complete, following a series of logistical problems at the plant and yearly cash losses.
Staff had hoped the consultation process might salvage some of the job losses, however, only 120 workers will be relocated to a depot at Warrington.
John Holmes, Head of HR for the company said: 'I would like to take this opportunity to make it clear that this is about changing how Hagemeyer does business nationally.
'The staff here have worked hard over the last few years and are of excellent quality.'
Hagemeyer has announced that employees will be given additional training to complete NVQ courses or attain licenses in forklift driving, while many will also have ample opportunities to search for local and regional jobs on a free internet service.
Councillor Rob Polhill, portfolio holder for Urban Renewal that looks after job creation said: 'We are confident that the level and quality of support that will be available from Halton People into Jobs on behalf of the council and Jobcentre Plus will ensure as many people as possible find jobs.'