Hundreds of redundant workers at Corby flock to firm’s open day

Greencore, Northampton
Greencore, Northampton

Hundreds of redundant Solway Foods workers in Corby attended an open day staged by a food factory aiming to recruit 200 people.

Greencore of Northampton held the event on Monday (March 31) at the Holiday Inn, Corby, and 130 people signed in during the first half hour.

The company, which makes sandwiches and wraps, is planning a huge expansion programme and is offering positions in all its departments, from production and engineering to commercial and technical.

Bruce Stephen, human resources director, said: “We wanted to make the day as meaningful as possible for the people who came along.

“We were very busy and there is no doubt that there are the skills we are looking for among the workers from Solway Foods.”

Workers were met by Greencore staff and after filling in application forms and finding out more about the company, they had one-to-one interviews.

Mr Stephen said: “We will be getting in touch with people after today.”

Solway Foods is closing its Corby plant and Shaun Smith, 30, of Kettering, who works in the company’s quality control department,is one of the 930 people at the firm being made redundant.

He said: “It wasn’t a shock when they announced the closure. People knew it was coming. My mum Carol works for Solway too, so we’re both losing our jobs.

“I was impressed by what I saw at the Greencore open day and I’m very interested in working for the company.”

Michael Arthur, 30, of Roman Road, Little Stanion, returned to his warehouse job at Solway Foods on Monday after four weeks off following the birth of his second daughter. He has worked for the company for four-and-a-half years.

Michael said; “We knew the closure was coming but it was still a huge blow. Greencore looks like a brilliant company. The open day was very professional with plenty of information and the chance to have an interview.

“I’m interested in a job with the company and I think I have the skills they are looking for.”

A jobs fair in Corby on Thursday was attended by 500 people including Solway workers and others looking for work.

The event attracted 28 companies advertising a total of 500 positions.

The taskforce, set up to help Solway workers, organised the jobs fair and at its meeting on Monday announced it is to arrange a second event.

Its rapid response team reported that one-to-one meetings have now been held with most of the Solway workforce and that more than 100 employees have received help with writing a CV.

In addition, the taskforce is to lobby the Government to award Assisted Area Status to North Northamptonshire to open up opportunities for additional support for local businesses to grow.

Speaking after the meeting Corby MP Andy Sawford said: “The taskforce is now focused on helping people into new jobs as quickly as possible. Feedback from Solway workers was very positive about the jobs fair and other initiatives that are taking place.

“There are already some success stories where people have found new employment and I wish them well.

“I can also assure those people who still do not know what the future holds for them, that the taskforce will continue to support them over the coming weeks and months.”