Two-thirds of workers from soon-to-close Kimberly-Clark plant in Barton yet to find jobs
AROUND 30 per cent of staff affected by the closure of the town's Kimberly-Clark plant have found new jobs, bosses have confirmed.
The nappy-making factory is due to close by the end of this month, with the loss of more than 500 jobs.
It employs 352 staff members, along with 100 contractors and around 120 temporary workers.
Efforts are also ongoing to sell the Falkland Way site and attract another major business to the town.
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A task force was established to help workers find alternative employment, with a jobs fair held in January.
Graham Tongue, mill manager, said he did not have an exact figure for those who had found new jobs but was pleased with the progress made.
He said: "The jobs fair went very well and I know that did result in a number of successful placements, which was great. I would be guessing but we are definitely over 30 per cent and probably a little bit above that.
"It is good news. I don't have to do this sort of thing many times, but I am told that is good progress for where we are."
Mr Tongue said workers would begin leaving the factory for the last time later in the month, ahead of a planned final cessation of production on March 31.
He said: "It is not just one date because we have got a 10-day shift pattern.
"It is really throughout the latter part of March that we will start to see small numbers leaving for the last time."
Mr Tongue said the firm remained committed to selling the factory.
The site has also been identified by North Lincolnshire Council as a potential opportunity to secure Regional Growth Fund money.
This could be used to help attract another firm to take over the building.
Mr Tongue said: "We are committed to a sale, so that work is ongoing as we speak.
"The site is now fully marketed and we will wait to see what interest there is."
On the possibility of the council attracting extra funding, he said: "I think it would be a great way of hopefully attracting a future owner."
Jonathan Evison, who represents Barton on North Lincolnshire Council, said he was pleased to see workers at the factory securing new jobs.
He said: "It is very heartening to know and the workforce at Kimberly-Clark is a very high-quality workforce.
"From day one, they were very positive about the chances of people finding a job. I am really pleased so many people have managed to find other work."