Firms rally round to help 300 redundant JFN staff find new jobs

Forth’s new team members, former employees of JFN Ltd, (from left) Chris Smale, Max Clements, Luke Faichney and Carl Messenger, with the first former JFN rig rebuilt at Forth.

MOST of the 300 employees made redundant by JFN Ltd now have a new job within five weeks of the business entering administration, including four mechanical engineers who have been taken on by Forth.

Forth Projects Director Graham Cartwright was determined to help after joining the rally cry started by Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster’s CEO Dianne Richardson.

Dianne wanted to help the JFN staff find work after the business announced it was no longer able to trade and called in administrators last month.

Graham said the response to help the former JFN staff shows the strength and solidarity of the nuclear sector within West Cumbria.

Graham said: “For most of those 300 employees to have a new job just over a month since the closure of JFN Ltd really is testament to the companies operating in West Cumbria.

“The speed at which help was offered, as a business owner, was humbling, but equally not surprising, to see. It was companies joining forces to see how they can help.

“We are delighted that we’ve been able to take on four engineers, including an apprentice who has been able to continue his work and training with us. 

“Our Forth team has fully embraced them and they’ve slotted right in. What they’ve been through can’t be underestimated and we will support them going forwards.”

Mechanical Technician Carl Messenger said: “I’m 59. I didn’t expect to find any work so to be here, with members of my previous team, is brilliant. 

“Initially I was more concerned about my son, who is an apprentice, and the other young lads who were just starting out. Thankfully they’re all ok.

“When I then started to think about my own future I wondered who would take on a 59-year-old. I do feel really lucky. I wouldn’t want to go through that experience again and I feel I’ve really landed on my feet here.”

Carl worked alongside Luke Faichney, Chris Smale and Max Clements at JFN.

Luke added: “When we were first told we were being let go I wondered how I was going to pay bills, I was a broken man. I was one of those kept on initially to work with the administrators.

“During that time I met Graham from Forth and asked if I could give him my CV and it went from there.

“To go from worrying how you were going to put food on the table to being welcomed into another company has meant the world. I can breathe again now. 

“I still miss my other colleagues but there’s a great atmosphere at Forth and I’m enjoying the work.”

When news came through that JFN workers had lost their jobs, BECBC CEO Dianne took to social media to ask local companies to respond and help. Forth, a member of the business cluster, was one of the first companies to respond.

Dianne said: “Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster is all about connection, both organisational and individual. Those strong connections in the nuclear sector meant we could put a call out to members to support their colleagues from James Fisher Nuclear confident that they would respond. 

“This not only supports the individuals who were facing a worrying future but also the businesses they’ve moved to who will benefit from their experience, skills and contribution hopefully for years to come. I’m absolutely delighted to see the personal stories of these individuals who now face a bright future at Forth.”

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