Extra cash to help Rover workers

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The Independent Online

The Government today pledged an extra £5.5 million to help Rover workers who are made redundant following the decision by BMW to sell the company.

The package, announced by Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett, will cover workers at Birmingham's Longbridge site and the thousands of workers who are employed across the region in the components industry.

Thousands of workers are expected to lose their jobs when Alchemy Partners takes over the company to produce MG cars for a niche market.

The cash is in addition to the millions promised by the Department of Trade and Industry to help regenerate the West Midlands.

Mr Blunkett said: "This package will benefit those facing redundancy. It allows them to re-equip themselves for work and encourages other local employers to give them the chance they deserve."

The package will help workers with training, particularly with information technology skills, and help employers with the cost of taking on redundant workers.

Mr Blunkett added: "An innovative aspect of the package is that information on training opportunities and jobs will be available on a special Internet site.

"This is particularly useful for workers who do not live close to the Rover sites."

The money will be channelled through the Rover Taskforce and the Rapid Response Fund. The fund seeks to help people back into work as quickly as possible when there has been a major redundancy.

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