A Jobs Fair in Swindon at Stanton House Hotel on 29 April attracted over 25 companies from all over the UK, bringing with them over 2,000 vacancies matched to the skills of hundreds of workers in Swindon being made redundant by Japanese car maker Honda in Swindon at the end of this month.
Some 600 Honda workers were invited to participate and later in the day staff from supply chain companies were able to find out what opportunities were on offer.
Companies including car giant rival Nissan, who want to attract the skilled Honda workers to their Sunderland plant nearly 300 miles away.
Other car manufacturers present were Jaguar Landrover and Aston Martin, below.
Also in search of engineers were Babcock, First Great Western, Amey, and a host of specialist automotive recruitment agencies.
The jobs fair was set up by Swindon’s unique Honda Task Force, a collaboration between public sector services including Forward Swindon and Job Centre Plus with private sector partners working to find new career opportunities for the hundreds of workers leaving the company.
Both Swindon MPs are members of the Task Force and were present at the event. Robert Buckland for South Swindon said: "I was pleased to learn that 2,000 job vacancies were being advertised, and met firms from far and near who are looking to recruit.
"It is vital that the skills acquired by Honda workers can be transferred into new occupations. I was particularly pleased to see that jobs are available with the contractors who will be using Swindon as a base to roll out the electrification of the Great Western railway line, for example.
"I want to thank the Honda Task Force for an excellent Jobs Fair."
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson agreed that the Jobs Fair was particularly well organised. "Staff looking for new positions were invited at specific times and guided to potential employers for more detailed discussions. There was a very positive atmosphere.
"I know Honda are keen to retain the skills base in the Swindon area in the expectation that they will expand again in the future. So I’d be sorry to see the very well trained skilled engineers leave the town, but their skills are much sought after and the Jobs Fair illustrated there are attractive positions elsewhere.
"I credit Honda Manufacturing for being closely involved in organising the event, and also Swindon College who have been working with the staff who are leaving over the last few months to formalise their experience working at Honda into recognised qualifications.
"The Jobs Fair is a good example of how the public and private sectors should work closely together when there is major change in the local jobs market. Both Robert and I will be pointing this out to ministers in the government."