Lifeline for axed staff

JJB Sports headquarters at Martland Park, Wigan
JJB Sports headquarters at Martland Park, Wigan

OUT-of-work Wigan folk and those about to lose their jobs are being urged to attend a special employment advice session.

The event has been organised with victims of the collapse of Martland Mill-based JJB Sports particularly in mind.

While Sports Direct has saved the HQ and a handful of stores, a third of the Wigan workforce have been made redundant in the carve-up.

This Thursday from 10am to noon, experts from the National Careers Service, Job Centre Plus, Wigan and Leigh Housing and several other partners will be available in the foyer of the Wigan Life Centre in Wigan town centre.

Coun David Molyneux, the cabinet’s lead for the economy, said: “Unemployment is a terrible blight on families and affects our whole community.

“With recent job losses at JJB firmly in mind, I want to ensure people get access to the best information they can. Please come to this special event and really make use of the expert advice on offer to help you plan your next moves forward.”

As well as getting the latest information on local jobs, staff can offer careers guidance, skill checks and help advise on training and support.

Officers from Job Centre Plus, Wigan and Leigh Housing and the council will also be available with benefits support and housing advice. Cheryll Wyatt is the district manager at Job Centre Plus.

She said: “This joint venture between the Department of Work and Pensions and Wigan Council provides an excellent opportunity for ex JJB employees to get information and guidance.

“This in turn will help individuals to identify, and access, any further support they may need to help them back into employment.”

The session has been organised following the recent high profile job losses in the borough but is open to anyone who has been made redundant.

The event is being run in the main entrance to the Life Centre from the Wiend, so staff can link people directly to different services on offer and make it easy for people to find us as they come straight through the door.

Private space will be available on request.

The new Wigan Life Centre, situated on the Wiend, contains a variety of public services, as well as library facilities, all under one roof.

These include Citizens’ Advice, Victim Support as well as council and housing services. The public can ask for a confidential room upon arrival.