Throughout the project, the development partnership has delivered pre-redundancy support to over 32 companies, thereby assisting the workforce of these companies to adapt to structural change. This support has consisted of individual information, advice and guidance sesssions, CV preparation, interview techniques training, job search activities, completion of individual skills and training needs analyis leading to re-training and upskilling, and on-site resource centres.
During the first two months of Action 2, the development partnership was faced with the challenge of assisting the engineers from BMI with redeployment. This was a particular challenge due to the fact that the MEIRG Project Team had only been operational for four weeks and procedures and policies were still being introduced and tenders had not been awarded to any training providers. However, despite these factors, an 80% redeployment rate was achieved for the people affected by redundancy. This redundancy acted as a learning curve for the project team and over the next two years the processes were refined so that a flexible model was developed that was followed with each subsequent redundancy.
The demand for redeployment support - targets exceeded by far
The original target for people assisted to get a job was 350, however 2928 have been achieved throughout Action 2. The demand for redeployment support has therefore far out-reached what was originally expected, especially from SMEs, as apart from MEIRG there is currently little or no support available to them from the public sector unless the redundancy has a significant impact on the local economy. Of the 32 companies assisted with pre-redundancy support, over 50% were SMEs. Analysis and tracking of the beneficiaries provided with pre-redundancy support shows that MEIRG have achievied an average redeployment rate of 60%, and in some cases the redeployment rate has been as high as 85%.
In order to combat discrimination of an ageing workforce and offer access to support and services, MEIRG has consistently developed its web-based recruitment, redeployment and job-matching system (CWeb) which matches the skills of people seeking employment to vacancies from engineering companies who have skills gaps. This system supports beneficiaries with the ability to gain support for job search and redeployment.
CWeb has been a tool that the development partnership has used in order to identify skills shortages in the engineering sector. A CRM system has also been developed alongside CWeb which has enabled the development partnership to track people when they have been made redundant until such time as they are redeployed back into the sector. The CRM system holds details of all the beneficiaries who have received support from the development partnership, and has extensive reporting facilities whereby it can provide statistical information from the types of beneficaries to the services provided.
Outputs delivered by the development partnership
The outputs delivered by the development partnership have greatly exceeded the original targets. The redeployment model that MEIRG has created is now capable of national and transnational application across a variety of sectors in order to address the effects of restructuring and globalisation.
The work of the development partnership has been selected by the third EU Restructuring Forum as an example of European best practice in the management of structural change. From inception, the development partnership's activities have consistently remained employer and beneficiary-led and the approach has been to listen to needs then flexibly deliver and tailor support services to meet individual needs.