October jobs fair for Annan welcomed by MSP

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MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed continued Scottish Government support for former Pinneys workers, as Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing announced he will host another jobs fair in Annan next month.


The Rural Secretary was responding to a question in Parliament from Ms McAlpine asking for an update on the situation at Pinneys.


Ms McAlpine said that she felt Young’s decision to close the site – in spite of incentives offered by the Scottish Government to maintain production while a buyer was found – is a betrayal of the workers and of the wider community.


The SNP MSP said she hoped the announcement that the Scottish Government will host another jobs fair will assure the community they have not been forgotten, and the SNP is committed to finding new jobs for loyal Pinneys workers.


The Scottish Government is now seeking a new investor for the site and discussion are ongoing with a number of interested parties.


Commenting, Ms McAlpine said: 


“This is a very disappointing time for the workforce of Pinneys after so many years of loyalty.


“Young’s disregard for the Pinneys workforce is astounding – they should be ashamed of themselves. Quite frankly this is a betrayal of the community.


“It might be cold comfort but the Scottish Government remains committed to finding alternative employment for those who have lost their jobs.


“The jobs fair hosted by the Scottish Government in July was well received with many individuals securing alternative employment as a result.


“I hope that the October event will result in more jobs being found for those who have been made redundant in the months following.”


Full text of the question and response is copied below:


Joan McAlpine: To ask the Scottish Government what the latest situation is with the Pinney’s site in Annan.


Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy (Fergus Ewing): Young’s Seafood confirmed on 3 September that it has now ceased production at the Pinney’s of Annan site and the majority of the workforce has now left the company.  A skeleton staff of around 50 are expected to remain on site until November to oversee the close-down procedure.  


The Scottish Government, working with Scottish Enterprise and Dumfries & Galloway Council, has worked intensively over the past 5 months to encourage Young’s Seafood to maintain production at the site and offered a range of incentives to do so, including a reduction on rates and professional support to review the efficiency and productivity of their operation. However, it became clear that Young’s wanted to extract themselves from the site as soon as possible. 


The Scottish Government is now seeking a new investor for the site and discussion are ongoing with a number of interested parties.  Meanwhile, we remain committed to finding alternative employment for those formally employed at the site and on the 19 July our multi-agency Partnership for Action on Continuing Employment (PACE) facilitated a dedicated jobs fair in the town.  Over 200 individuals attended the fair with 19 employers and recruitment agencies exhibiting over 350 vacancies.  The jobs fair was well received and initial feedback is that a number individuals were successful in seeking alternative employment.  In light of the further redundancies that took place in August, and in agreement with the local trade union, we have agreed to facilitate an additional jobs fair in the town in October and are now in the process of finalising the detail.