Whenever a major automaker sheds a bunch of workers at one time, it’s always a challenge for the company and the workers losing their jobs. Case in point is the closure of the Ford Bridgend Engine Plant in Wales. Ford announced earlier this month that the Bridgend Engine Plant would be closed starting in the fall of 2020. The challenge for the workers at the plant is that the Bridgend Engine Plant is the primary employer for Bridgend and surrounding towns; the area will struggle to absorb the displaced workers.
Ford has been working with the UK and Welsh government on the closure and will offer some of the workers positions in other parts of the UK. A taskforce has been set up at the Bridgend Engine Plant to support the workers who are losing their jobs, and the person in charge of that taskforce is a name that is familiar at Ford Motor Company. The taskforce will be headed by Richard Parry-Jones, the former Ford chief technical officer.
The first time the taskforce will meet is on July 1st in Bridgend. Parry-Jones currently chairs the Welsh Automotive Forum. Also, on the taskforce are representatives from Ford of Britain, the Welsh Government, the Wales Office, trade unions, and Bridgend council. Economy minister Ken Skates says that the closure of the Bridgend Engine Plant has had and will continue to have an impact on the local population and workers and that he is glad someone of Richard Parry-Jones’ stature is chairing the “vital taskforce.”
Ford Bridgend workers still have no answer from Ineos on if it will use the plant to build its 4×4 once Ford leaves. Aston Martin has announced a facility for constructing its new SUV close to Bridgend and will be looking to hire around 1,000 workers in the next couple years and has noted that the former Bridgend Engine Plant workers would have skill sets it needs.