Jobs fair aimed at hundreds of redundant workers from Kimberly-Clark factory in Barton
HUNDREDS of employees affected by the closure of a Barton factory were given the opportunity to seek new work at a special jobs fair.
The Kimberly-Clark plant will cease production by March 31, with the loss of more than 500 jobs.
The jobs fair was held at the Falkland Way site to help people affected by the closure.
It was organised by North Lincolnshire Council and JobCentre Plus.
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The open day gave Kimberly-Clark employees a chance to discuss current vacancies or opportunities which may be coming up with potential new employers.
Philip Stow, 39, from Barton, has worked for Kimberly-Clark for 10 years and was among the employees at the jobs fair.
He said he thought holding the event was a positive move.
He said: "It is encouraging to see something like this taking place.
"I have been here for 10 years and I am looking for a new challenge."
Chris High, 48, from Bottesford, was also seeking new work at the event.
Mr High has worked at Kimberly-Clark for 16 years.
He said: "I found it very good.
"I have spoken to a few people.
"To be fair, Kimberly-Clark is making the best of a very bad situation.
"It is quite exciting looking for a new job."
Matthew Whiteley, 36, from Scunthorpe, has worked for the company for 15 years.
He said the jobs fair provided new opportunities.
"It was a big shock when we found out the factory is closing," he said.
"Things like this open your eyes up to what is out there and it gives you the opportunity to look at something new."
Kimberly-Clark announced its closure plans for the Barton site in October, with increasing market pressures given as the reason.
The closure is part of a proposal to stop both the manufacturing and selling of products across most of Europe.
The company is now looking to attract an equally as large organisation to take over the site.
And if the 20-year-old facility is not sold, it will be demolished and the site returned to its previous greenfield use.
A task force was set up soon after the proposed closure was announced, aimed at finding alternative employment for workers.
Graham Tongue, plant manager for Kimberly-Clark, said: "It was an extremely good turnout, as we would expect from a group of people going through a difficult time.
"The feedback has been very, very positive from the teams. We know we have good people with great work ethics. There was somewhere in the region of 30 regional employers."