DCC to discuss job losses

Dunedin city councillors will gather for a "brainstorming'' session once more information is available on the impact of the closure of Fisher and Paykel's Taieri whiteware manufacturing plant.

The company announced last week it would cut 430 jobs in the six months from December as the plant closed down. Ninety engineering staff would be retained.

Deputy mayor Syd Brown told yesterday's economic development committee meeting that council staff were still trying to determine what "skill set'' was going to become available at what times, so there could be a "match up'' with Government departments and employers.

The council was also gathering information on the impact that would be felt by businesses that traded with Fisher and Paykel.

"Once we have got the information together, we will meet informally as a council to brainstorm ideas,'' he said.

Tamahine Knitwear also announced last week it was closing down, with the loss of 50 jobs. Mr Brown said there were indications the skills held by the company's staff were "very short'' in Dunedin and that "might just about resolve the issue at Tamahine''.

Cr Neil Collins said it had to be recognised that Fisher and Paykel staff were mainly factory workers, and the issue was about whether that sort of work would be available elsewhere.

Economic development unit manager Peter Harris said one of the issues for the council was finding other users for the building who would add value to the local economy.

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