Fife Taskforce forges ahead helping redundant workers

The Fife Task Force, which met last Thursday for the seventh time, says it’s continuing to successfully support people, businesses and communities affected by job losses in central Fife into re-employment, self-employment or training.
To date, the Taskforce, which is co-chaired by John Swinney MSP, the deputy First Minister, and Fife Council’s leader Cllr David Ross, says it has achieved positive outcomes (including employment, self-employment or education) for 418 (70%) workers in Fife involved in the process, and that there is ongoing support for those affected by these redundancies.
It’s helping 600 workers across Fife, including former employees of Tullis Russell, Fife Joinery (Velux), Tesco, Sphere and Turret and Havelock, who have faced redundancy.
Of the 477 workers previously employed by Tullis Russell, 386 have now found alternative full time employment.
The Taskforce’ s ongoing plan of action involves key partners to support economic growth and employment creation.
At its latest meeting, the Taskforce also received an update on activity at Queensway Industrial Estate in Glenrothes where Fife Council is working to address long-standing issues of ageing property on the estate itself and to unlock employment opportunities by giving it a new lease of life.
Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise say they are supporting the move by electric underfloor heating specialist Flexel International to relocate from Queensway to the former Velux site. Its current building will be demolished to make way for redevelopment. This move will support expansion, creating 12 new jobs, as well as safeguarding the future of nearly 50 existing employees.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “The progress reported to the Task Force is very encouraging. The process is delivering results for those affected by redundancy, supporting people into work and helping them to develop essential skills.
“The former Tullis Russell workforce has a great deal to offer other local employers, and it is a testament to the individuals and the quality of the support on offer that so many have found new opportunities so quickly.”
Cllr David Ross, Fife Council leader, said: “We continue to support those impacted by recent closures that require our support, and reassure all those affected that further assistance will be forthcoming.
“I am pleased with the plans for wider economic development that are being progressed. Queensway Industrial Estate offers great potential to serve modern businesses and support economic growth in this part of Fife. It has always been a popular location, right next to the A92, and now boasts the addition of an adjacent biomass facility. Work is also underway on the development of Scotland’s most energy efficient data centre campus.
“With Task Force support, and in close partnership with the businesses located there currently, Fife Council has been able to accelerate plans to drive forward redevelopment.”
George Graham, managing director of Flexel, said: “The support of Fife Task Force, Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council has allowed us to agree a plan to move from our current premises at Queensway in a way that minimises disruption to our business operations. We have a great workforce so we’re delighted that we will be able to remain in Glenrothes in new premises that much better suit our needs and allow us to expand our activities here.”

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