Work is under way to support the employees at a factory in Seaton Delaval that is due to shut down next year.
Beauty company Coty announced earlier this year that its operation in the community will close by the end of 2018, subject to board approval, after it reviewed its global manufacturing operations.
Arch and Northumberland County Council worked in partnership with Coty to form a response group not long after the announcement.
The remit of the group is to help employees, assess the impact on the local supply chain and provide support to ensure a sustainable future use for the site.
It also includes representation from Seaton Valley Community Council, Jobcentre Plus and a range of other local and regional organisations, agencies and individuals that wish to support the workforce.
Weekly sessions for staff led by Jobcentre Plus and the Careers Service, in collaboration with Coty, are proving successful and two careers fairs have also been arranged at the site.
Some employees have already secured positions – a number within Coty’s global network and some with local or regional companies.
Additional training is being provided for staff who want to brush up on skills such as job applications and interview technique.
Northumberland College has also provided support by organising an NVQ to formalise existing skills, so that people can add these to their CVs.
Coun Richard Wearmouth, cabinet member for economic development at the county council and chairman of Arch, said: “I am very pleased that the group is doing some excellent work, alongside Coty, to provide support to employees as this factory moves towards its sad closure next year.
“We appreciate that this is a difficult time for staff but hope that the support package from Coty, combined with wider assistance through partners on the taskforce, will ensure that they have the best possible opportunities available to plan for the future.
“We will also be working with the company as it moves towards sale of the site, with the aim of securing a suitable and economically advantageous use for the future.”
Kay Plumley, site leader at the factory, said: “We are fully committed to supporting all of our colleagues through the coming months and ensuring that they have every possible resource available to help them either relocate with Coty, find another job, or pursue other future directions that they might wish to take.
“Our priority is to ensure that there are as wide a range of opportunities available to them as possible.”
Under the remit of the response group, Arch and Northumberland County Council will also be looking at how they can attract new investment to help boost Seaton Delaval’s future sustainability – including on-going work with the Government to secure all available support.