Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE will Chair the Taskforce to support Ford workers and help secure their future following the company’s decision to close their operation in Bridgend from Autumn 2020.
Professor Parry-Jones, chair of the Welsh Automotive Forum and a prominent and extremely well regarded figure within the automotive sector, will be joined by representatives from Ford of Britain, Welsh Government, Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, BEIS, Trade Unions, Bridgend local authority and others.
The taskforce, which will meet for the first time on Monday 1 July in Bridgend, will look at three areas in particular, namely:
- People: focusing on those working at Ford Bridgend and within the Engine Plant’s supply chains to ensure they are supported throughout the consultation and in the future
- Potential: focusing on the long term potential for the site by attracting new investment to secure its future and the skills of the workforce
- Place: focusing on the wider impact on the community and securing a resilient future for the area and wider region
The Taskforce will be jointly sponsored by Economy Minister Ken Skates and the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns.
The Economy Minister said:
The impact that Ford’s announcement has had, and will continue to have, on the people living and working in Bridgend must be at the forefront of all our minds and efforts.
I’m delighted, therefore, that someone of the stature and background of Professor Richard Parry-Jones has agreed to chair this vital taskforce.
We’ve seen how successful such taskforces can be in helping match skillsets with opportunities elsewhere in Wales, and it’s vitally important that this Taskforce in particular considers not only the enormous amount the workforce and facility has to offer but also works closely with the supply chain in the area to map the activity underway and to support interventions that will help companies whose business relies on Ford to survive and move forwards with confidence following this body blow.
In the conversations I’ve had to date with all parties, there is a real will and determination to support these workers who have done everything that Ford have asked of them over the past four decades, wherever possible. This taskforce forms part of our efforts to do just that.