In the midst of doom and gloom, one company making positive, constructive efforts to keep workers employed in its Telford, UK community is Transforming Telford – Polymer Central (TTPC). Responding to the workforce reductions facing many plastics companies in Telford, the organization has identified practices to help avoid layoffs; and these measures have been implemented with success, says Claire Brown, who heads it up.
Claire Brown of Transforming Telford –Polymer Central is working to help the region thrive and grow through a series of business support initiatives.
“A very big thanks to you, your team, and all of your contacts with the support in our recent vacancies,” said Sonia Edmonds, HRM officer of Telford-based Ricoh UK Products, to TTPC. “This was very successful as we were able to recruit from a local company making redundancies. It was therefore a real win-win situation for all concerned.”
“Part of our recent role at Transforming Telford – Polymer Central has been to make our local companies aware of the creative strategies that can be deployed on the people and human resources fronts,” Brown says. “In our experience, most companies don’t want to make redundancies as they can lose a skilled and experienced workforce. We therefore want to help companies to take measures to help them avoid redundancies where possible.”
She shared some of the practices implemented at Telford firms:
• Ask for volunteers to work part time for a period rather than full time.
• Ask for volunteers for unpaid career breaks/unpaid holidays.
• Ask for people to job share.
• Remove/reduce overtime and shift working.
• Do additional training while you can release people from their normal jobs (there may be funding for training for eligible companies).
• Get employees to do some of the maintenance/cleaning work that you would otherwise put out to contract—for instance, painting machines/decorating the offices or workshop.
• Send suitable people out to seek additional work (the training mentioned above may help support this change in role). Diversify – Manufacturing Advisory Service, Business Link and UK Trade & Investment can offer support and assistance in this area.
• Consider asking employees to take leave during a specified shutdown timed to suit the business rather than taking leave at any time.
• Look at annualized hours so that actual attendance time can be adjusted to when the business needs it.
TTPC was formed in late 2007 with a 10-year plan to bring local plastics-based industries together through shared work on costs, mutual opportunities, and noncompetitive information. Injection molding companies in the region include Protomold, Denso Corp., Epson, and Craemer Environmental Systems. —[email protected]