Michelin to host next Taskforce meeting

A '˜manufacturing taskforce' set up to deal with recent local job losses in the borough is set to meet again on Thursday afternoon, April 14.

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According to an update report on the ongoing activity of the Group presented at the April monthly meeting of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, the latest gathering is to be hosted on site at Michelin where Plant Manager John Milsted will update the Taskforce on the current company position.

Representatives will also have the opportunity to tour the Career Development Centre on site at Michelin during the afternoon.

The Taskforce, which held its inaugural meeting in February, is chaired by Mid & East Antrim Mayor Billy Ashe and its membership includes nine councillors, nine officials from across the public sector an additional industry involvement such as Michelin and JTi, as and when required.

The idea for it was born last November when, following the closure announcement from Michelin and the loss of 860 jobs by 2018, the Mayor Councillor Billy Ashe and Council’s CEO Anne Donaghy met with the Ministers for Employment & Learning, Social Development and Enterprise.

It was agreed then that the development of a Manufacturing Taskforce was the best way forward to address a wide range of issues in the manufacturing sector of Mid & East Antrim.

The update report to Council stated that the Group has been and will continue to explore the critical issues in relation to- Business related factors – underlying trends affecting the businesses and the causes of the shock eg. markets, competition, technology, costs; people related factors - the scale of the effect on employment and the nature of those affected such as skills levels; and place related factors such as the overall effect on the local/regional economy and the specific effect on sites, premises, and communities etc.

Specific work discussed during the Task Force’s inaugural meeting in February included - formally carrying out an Economic Impact Assessment on the economic implications of the job losses in the borough; analysing and communicating this data to allow the Task Force to strategically input into the Programme for Government going forward; and, the establishment of a Mid and East Antrim Sales Proposition to ensure that Mid and East Antrim is well placed to be at the forefront of potential future inward investment opportunities.