WREXHAM’S Labour AM Lesley Griffiths is looking toward a new pilot scheme designed to support Welsh businesses and employees during the current economic downturn.
The AM is now in tri-partite discussions with JCB, the trade union and the Welsh Assembly Government, to see if the recently announced ProAct scheme can be used to help the 58 workers facing redundancy at the company’s Wrexham plant.
The ProAct pilot scheme is a major new initiative by the Welsh Assembly Government, announced last week, to support and provide quality training for employees put on short-time working, before redundancies are considered.
At its launch, the Assembly Government said the initial focus of ProAct would be in the automotive sector in Wales and this prompted Lesley Griffiths to explore if this could apply to JCB in Wrexham as they produce gearboxes for diggers and earth moving equipment.
Funding for ProAct will be provided on a selective basis and will cover the training as well as a wage subsidy for the employee whilst engaged in the training.
It is anticipated ProAct will help prevent redundancies as well as improving the skills base of organisations by retraining employees in areas where there is demand and where firms anticipate there to be opportunities.
Lesley Griffiths AM said: “ProAct was launched last week by the Welsh Assembly Government. This pilot scheme is the first of its kind in the UK and is designed as a ‘rapid-response’ to those facing redundancy during the current economic downturn.
“From JCB’s perspective, the advent of ProAct is timely, as this pilot scheme will only apply to the automotive sector, until the scheme is widened out to other industry sectors in April.
“I’m now in discussions with JCB, the GMB trade union and the Welsh Assembly Government to see in what way the ProAct scheme can now help those at the Wrexham factory following the company’s recent announcement a further 58 jobs are to be lost.
“I met the GMB union last Friday to discuss the ongoing situation at JCB and now I believe ProAct could help workers at the plant.
“Hopefully, the company and Welsh Assembly Government will discuss my proposal, to see if the recently announced redundancies can be prevented or how the impact of those job losses can be mitigated.”