Minister pledges package of support for Leeds-based airline staff affected by Monarch collapse

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Writing for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Employment Minister Damian Hinds has pledged to support airport workers affected by the collapse of Monarch airlines.

This week’s announcement by Monarch was deeply saddening for the airline, its workers and their families. Equally, for the hundreds of thousands of Monarch customers enjoying a holiday away or looking forward to one in the future, it’s a deeply unsettling time.

Damian Hinds MP - Employment Minister

Damian Hinds MP - Employment Minister

Around 70 Monarch staff based around Leeds Bradford Airport were directly affected by the news, primarily cabin crew but several pilots too. My priority as Minister for Employment is to help them and their 2,000 other former colleagues across the 
country, so they can reclaim some certainty into their lives.

I’m proud to say that the Government’s response has been extremely swift – amounting to the largest peacetime repatriation since the Second World War. Former Monarch employees in West Yorkshire will be also attending events over the coming weeks using the support offered by Jobcentre Plus, including Guiseley JCP.

This is crucial. Our goal is to help ensure that these people have the chance to continue using their expertise and that their careers are not held back by this news.

Local Jobcentre Plus colleagues have been working tirelessly over the past week. Thanks to their alertness and quick actions, there are a number of things we’ve done to boost the employment prospects of the people based in Yorkshire.

Every person who worked with Monarch received information from Jobcentre Plus confirming the support available to them.

We’ve also been speaking with the trade bodies representing the major airlines and there have been enquiries from large airlines about filling their vacancies.

Cabin crew and those with experience in aviation have highly transferable skills, and the airline industry is booming right now.

It’s no surprise that employers are lining up to speak with former Monarch staff about exciting new roles.

In total, we have sourced more than 6,300 vacancies across the major UK based airlines – around three times the number of people made redundant – which will help former Monarch employees remain in the airline industry.

For people in Yorkshire, over 100 of these vacancies are based around Leeds Bradford Airport. Our role is to link people up with these opportunities and we will be with them every step of the way on their journey back into employment.

That’s why we are organising jobs fairs around the country to bring Monarch employees and prospective employers together. A jobs fair in Yorkshire has already been organised for 17th October. This will be based at Northbridge Leisure Centre, Halifax and will feature stalls with information on jobs and helping people update their CVs. Various employment organisations, including The National Careers Service, will also be on hand.

For anyone reading this who is also looking for help, Jobcentre Plus is an excellent resource. Go on GOV.UK and search for your nearest centre, or visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus.

While the administration of Monarch is clearly terrible news, I want the workers affected to know that efforts are already underway to get them straight back into employment. They can take full advantage of the support available through Jobcentre Plus and help ensure that they still have a bright future.

A road traffic sign is in front of the Union Jack and the European Union flag hanging outside Europe House in Smith Square, London.  Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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