Workers at threatened Birmingham vanmaker LDV are to receive specialist advice on how to claim benefit and re-train for other jobs.
City council experts will set up a temporary advice centre today in Ward End Park, close to the firm’s Common Lane headquarters in Washwood Heath, from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
The aim is to help 700 production workers whose pay has been cut since December, when cash-strapped LDV ceased production. The workforce has been moved to statutory lay-off pay, effectively cutting wages by half.
Council regeneration director Clive Dutton said everything possible would be done to help as discussions continue about LDV’s future. He stressed that the arrival of a benefits team did not mean the council expected LDV to fail. “We are not pre-judging any outcomes of the discussions between workers, management and government,” he said.
Some 6,000 jobs are under threat, including those in the supply chain, if LDV goes out of business. The government has refused a £30 million bridging loan to assist a management buy-out and keep the company going through the recession. Neville Summerfield, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is a very worrying time for all those people employed at LDV and their families, as well as those potentially affected by the knock-on impact in the supply chain. We recognise the anxiety that those in the middle of this are going through and hope that with the provision of a dedicated advice service we can go some way towards helping them.”