En­gi­neer job of­fers rolling in


On Wed­nes­day last week, they found out they’d lost their jobs.

But the next morn­ing, job of­fers started rolling in for the 100 work­ers from Thames foundry A&G Price Ltd.

Their for­mer em­ployer has gone into liq­ui­da­tion, emp­ty­ing skilled work­ers into the mar­ket.

On Fri­day, Waikato En­gi­neer­ing Ca­reers As­so­ci­a­tion asked all its mem­bers if they had any va­can­cies.

Within 40 min­utes, 40 of­fers had come in, as­so­ci­a­tion man­ager Mary Jensen said. Jobs in­cluded welders, fit­ters, CNC ma­chin­ists and fab­ri­ca­tors, work­shop man­agers, project en­gi­neers and su­per­vi­sors.

‘‘It is ex­cel­lent to see our mem­bers work­ing to­gether to make sure th­ese peo­ple re-en­ter the in­dus­try in our re­gion as soon as pos­si­ble,’’ Jensen said. ‘‘Iron­i­cally, much of our in­dus­try is in the grip of skills short­ages, so we need to do ev­ery­thing we can to keep them lo­cal.’’

The as­so­ci­a­tion was founded by Waikato en­gi­neer­ing busi­nesses in 2003 to col­lec­tively ad­dress skill short­ages and has a mem­ber­ship of more than 30 busi­nesses, which em­ploy about 2500 en­gi­neer­ing staff be­tween them.

For­mer A&G worker Brian Don­nelly said a lot of his work­mates pan­icked when the liq­ui­da­tion was an­nounced and work­ers were told they weren’t guar­an­teed redundancy.

But word gets out fast, the ma­chine shop fore­man said, as proved by dis­cus­sions at a get­to­gether on Fri­day night.

‘‘When skilled trades­men be­come avail­able from a sit­u­a­tion like this, word gets around the coun­try­side to the big­ger busi­nesses,’’ he said.

‘‘There are a lot of peo­ple who have been of­fered jobs in other places. They were rung up the same day or the morn­ing af­ter … and asked if they wanted to come for an in­ter­view. Some of them have ba­si­cally been hired on the spot.’’

Don­nelly worked at the foundry for about 40 years - he’s gut­ted about what has hap­pened, but he is past re­tire­ment age and not too wor­ried.

His son, who also worked there, has al­ready been con­tacted about two jobs, he said. ‘‘My heart goes out to the guys with fam­i­lies and a mort­gage.

‘‘There’s no work in Thames and they have got to move or com­mute to the likes of Hamil­ton or Auck­land or Tau­ranga or wher­ever.’’

*Con­tin­ued P3

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