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.’’