Task force unveils Murco response
The taskforce handling the effects of the closure of the Murco oil refinery in Pembrokeshire has proposed measures to soften the impact on hundreds of staff facing unemployment.
A deal between Swiss company Klesch Group and the owner of the refinery collapsed earlier this month, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
Economy minister Edwina Hart, who chaired the taskforce meeting, announced a special £3m round of the Welsh Economic Growth Fund to support businesses in safeguarding employment in Pembrokeshire. It will coincide with the latest £500,000 round of the SME Growth Fund. Those facing redundancy will also be supported through the Welsh Government's ReAct programme.
Stan McIlvenny, the chief executive of Port of Waterford Company, has been named as the new chairman of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone.
McIlvenny will take up the role immediately and is expected to consider the boundaries of the existing zone in light of the Murco sale collapse.
Hart said she was also "keen" to enhance connectivity in the area to promote business opportunities and will work with the CBI and business leaders on opportunities to find work for Murco staff.
"As a government we are determined to do everything in our power to support the workforce and the local economy of Pembrokeshire and will explore every avenue with the company and partners to maximise the economic opportunities for the region," she said.
Roger Evans, managing director of Schaeffler, and Emma Watkins, the director of CBI Wales, have also been appointed to the taskforce.
Hart said: "We will continue to provide advice and support for the workforce through our delivery partners and I have asked the task force to extend that support mechanism to the contractor network. We must ensure that all of those affected have the right information and skills to make the difficult choices ahead of them.
"The wider Murco workforce is highly skilled and has an excellent reputation and we will work with businesses partners in Wales and further to identify new employment opportunities for those affected by redundancy."