TRAINING and support for workers facing uncertainty over the security of their jobs at Cooper Tire in Melksham will be provided by the council as part of an emergency task force set up last night.

The special working group includes Wiltshire Council, the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise, Wiltshire College, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the National Careers Service.

Alistair Cunningham, Wiltshire Council’s corporate director of growth, investment and place, said: “This is clearly an uncertain time for those Cooper Tire employees who are at risk of redundancy and we will be doing all we can to support them both during and after the consultation. A multi-agency task force has been set up and is ready to offer a range of practical help which will include training, skills development and help finding new employment.

“There are a number of major employers in the area and there is a high demand for skilled workers.

“Wiltshire Council has strong links with Cooper Tire and we will continue to work closely with them to help secure the business’s long-term future in the area.”

Yesterday afternoon 732 workers were told that up to 300 redundancies could be made at the company if it decides to stop producing car tires.

The company announced that Melksham would remain the home of Cooper Tire Europe’s headquarters, sales and marketing offices, Europe Technical Centre and materials business.

It is expected that production of Motorsports and motorcycle tires would also continue in Melksham.

Paddy Bradley, the director of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We will work with Wiltshire Council and other partners to help manage the impact of the proposed job losses at Cooper Tire in Melksham.

“We are keen to enable such a highly skilled workforce to find employment within Swindon and Wiltshire and offset the impact on the community and economy. We will offer information, advice and guidance to those affected.”

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