Cadbury’s employees eye up SC
Soon-to-be redundant Cadbury’s workers from Dunedin could be set to taste success up the road in Timaru.
A Cadbury Employment Expo was held in Dunedin last weekend to help more than 350 workers set to lose their jobs when the city’s chocolate factory closes over the coming months.
Aoraki Development operations manager Di Hay said three of its staff were ‘‘flat out’’ at the expo talking to workers from the plant about swapping Dunedin for South Canterbury.
‘‘A range of staff, from machine operators, supervisors and quality personnel, to industrial engineers and industrial electricians are among the Cadbury’s factory staff in Dunedin considering options for future employment in Timaru.
‘‘Once we started talking to people it was surprising how many were prepared to leave Dunedin and saw Timaru as a nearby, realistic option.
‘‘They asked about house prices, rental properties, schools and what it would be like for their families if they shifted.
‘‘One of the first things we asked the Cadbury’s staff we talked to, was ‘are you prepared to move to Timaru’?
‘‘Most didn’t hesitate and said yes [because] there’s nothing to hold them to Dunedin and they’d move for a good job.’’
Hay said Barkers Fruit Processors, Oceania Dairy, Ara, Fonterra, Alliance and Silver Fern Farms were showing off what they could offer at the expo.
The first set of workers will leave Cadbury’s on November 22, with a second lot set for the chop on December 23.
About 250 people will lose their jobs this year, while another 100 jobs will be cut in February and March next year.
South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Smith said the news of Cadbury’s workers potentially moving to Timaru was welcome given the ongoing workers’’.
‘‘This could prove to be an excellent transition for these employees enabling them to remain in employment and in the South Island.’’
Smith said while the match between employer and employee ‘‘can never be pre determined’’, there was a ‘‘more likely’’ match as the Cadbury’s employees ‘‘are leaving a specialist food processor’’.
‘‘I’m sure our employers, schools, communities and the chamber would look to support these employees and their families transition to South Canterbury.’’
Hay said staff from Cadbury’s were encouraged to bring along hard copies of their CVs to give to perspective employers at the expo.
‘‘We brought a number back to pass on to businesses here as potential staff.’’
Hay said Aoraki Development approached a number of businesses in the Timaru district before the expo, to find out about job vacancies that might suit the Cadbury’s staff.
It had now passed on information about staff to potential employers.
Hay said Aoraki development would be keeping in touch with the businesses to find out how many Cadbury’s staff made the move, she said.
‘‘It’s a tough time for the Cadbury’s staff and for some it’s their second redundancy’’, Hay said of the workers. ‘‘shortage of skilled