Support is available to the hundreds of workers in Bristol and Kingswood at risk of losing their jobs after retail giant Wilko collapsed into administration.
Responding to the news that the high street chain had appointed administrators from PwC after failing to secure a rescue deal, the West of England’s directly elected Mayor Dan Norris said his Mayoral Combined Authority “stands ready” to support to workers in his patch who are likely to be made redundant.
The much-loved home and hardware chain has over 400 stores supporting about 12,000 jobs – making it one of the biggest retail casualties in years.
Administrators are expected to continue to seek a buyer for at least part of the business after their appointment, though the chain is expected to have to close dozens of outlets, leaving big gaps on high streets.
The family-owned retailer has five stores in Bristol, and one in Kingswood.
Mayor Norris said packages of support from his Mayoral Combined Authority are available to help workers in case they are made redundant. He pointed to his hands-on training courses for high-demand sectors, as well as other careers programmes which help locals including those who have lost their jobs – to help them find a new role in a similar or new sector.
Responding to the news, Mayor Dan Norris said: “This is really concerning news, not least for the dozens of workers who will now be worrying about what this means for them, and the fact they are now at risk of losing their jobs in the middle of a really tough and frightening cost-of-living crisis.
“I hope a solution can be found to keep as many jobs and stores safe as possible. And help is at hand from my Mayoral Combined Authority to help locals made redundant to find new job opportunities.
“There are plenty of jobs out there – in retail, but also in other sectors with employers who would really value workers with these types of skillsets. My Mayoral Combined Authority stands ready to help affected workers have access to the services and resources they need to find a good-quality, unionized roles as soon as possible.”