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Government exploring possible help for Norfolk Lotus workers whose jobs are at risk

06:30 20 September 2014

The work force leaving the Lotus factory at Hethel after the announcement of job losses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The work force leaving the Lotus factory at Hethel after the announcement of job losses. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

The government has confirmed it is exploring whether Group Lotus workers at risk of redundancy could be given help to get back into work.

The Hethel-based sports car manufacturer announced on Thursday that the jobs of up to 325 of its staff – a figure equal to more than a quarter of its global workforce – were at risk due to restructuring.

Workers have now entered a 45-day consultation with the company, but it is likely to be 90 days before it becomes clear how many salaried staff and agency workers will be affected.

Sources close to the company said as many as 270 jobs might be at risk in Norfolk, although the company denied the figures and said no decisions on where they jobs could go had been made.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills yesterday confirmed that business secretary Vince Cable had been talking to South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon about the situation.

A spokesman for the government department confirmed it was exploring whether the workers could be helped through the government’s Talent Retention Solution scheme.

Described by Dr Cable as like an ‘eBay’ for engineers, the web-based scheme matches specialists whose jobs may be at risk or people with companies that are looking to recruit skilled staff to satisfy growth in their companies.

Council leaders also said the Hethel Engineering Centre could support any designers or engineers who lose their jobs at Lotus.

George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “The news is clearly deeply disappointing and public bodies in Norfolk will be exploring any ways in which the staff affected can be helped. We should not be despondent. Lotus still remains a significant employer in the county and demand for skilled staff in the engineering sector remains strong.”

And John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk District Council said “In previous years, ex-Lotus employees had little choice but to move away. Nowadays there are more alternative job opportunities in related sectors close-by and council-owned premises on reasonable terms to support those who wish to change direction and start up their own business.”

• Have you been affected by the decision? Contact business editor Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

16 comments

  • "Government exploring possible help for Norfolk Lotus workers whose jobs are at risk", I wouldn't expect too much help from Tories when it comes to high skilled jobs. Maybe start by claiming back the £10m (plus costs) of taxpayer's money Lotus were given to supposedly create jobs, rather than destroy them, disgraceful.

    Report this comment

    DocScott

    Thursday, September 25, 2014

  • The last report on this was help in the form of a "jobs task force" were going to help those being made redundant. Now it is "Government exploring the possibility of help....." Make your mind up EDP ?. I know which one I believe, the latter. This and any other government couldnt give a fig for people losing their jobs.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Monday, September 22, 2014

  • With or without a union, Lotus would not be making a profit! If you make an expensive product then you need a market to buy it. If nobody buys it then you change or die. Lotus is trying to compete with the likes of Porsche and other super cars and sadly failing. They can't keep being bailed out by the taxpayer! Look at the De Loreon - a very expensive mistake.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Monday, September 22, 2014

  • Unfortunately they build cars that are over priced and out perfomed by many others. Sorry for anyone who loses their jobs, but we cannot keep supporting companies that make inferior products.

    Report this comment

    DaveG

    Monday, September 22, 2014

  • Agency workers are not going to be part of the 325 staff made redundant as they are not employed by Group Lotus. Not sure what part of Group Lotus will be effected the most Lotus Cars or the Engineering Consultancy side of the business which is where the value is in the business.

    Report this comment

    CllrJohnCowan

    Sunday, September 21, 2014

  • What is so frustrating is that Unite The Union have an excellent working relationship with the rest of the UK car industry,sharing in what has been a very successful industry and with a huge stake in the industry.The union helps sustain the business as well as operating fair payment systems. Lotus anti-union stance is,therefore,totally counter-productive and out of sync with the rest of the industry,where the union can be a valuable partner.I suggest Lotus re-consider its position.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • Lotus is not an english company so why should the taxpayer support it when there are other pressing needs?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • Lotus boss: 'The recovery has begun' 29 January 2014.

    Report this comment

    D. ROSS

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • Has Cable got shares in Lotus?

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • I think this is an utter disgrace. In any other part of the UK "Governemnt Help" means significant financial input, whereas here in South Norfolk they appear to be considering whether to offer people teh chance to access a website. Bacon should be ashamed of himself.

    Report this comment

    john smith

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • More government help after giving 10 million to a non british owned company Sorry but how much help is the government going to do to help save 5000 plus jobs ay phones 4 u Yes very sorry for all people affected but you just cannot help one without the other `

    Report this comment

    johnboy4850

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • Terrible news for those people facing losing there jobs. But Peter is right. Thatchers policy of smashing the unions back in the eighties has left us all at the mercy of the new form of hire and fire company's (Lotus) or zero hours contracts.

    Report this comment

    Tone the moan

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • I hate to see fellow workers getting shafted by their employer which it why the girls and boys should be in a union.I wish I had a pound for every time I've said that!

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • billy, Boom or bust makes no odds to Lotus, its never exactly had a strong market. Look at its history, how many times has it been sold,bought out, given away, mixed up with other nightmares (Delorean). If people don't want your product or its over priced that's just business. Adapt or die.

    Report this comment

    ggj666

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • What did they do with the millions that they have already been given by the government?

    Report this comment

    la barbe

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

  • the goverment claims we are in the middle of another boom . Then we have this news . Maybe things are not as good as they tell us with their goverment propaganda

    Report this comment

    billy smith

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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