The council’s Employ Crawley team has been helping about 30 staff affected by the imminent closure of the town’s Wilko store.
It stopped trading in one of the early waves of closures on 17 September, so the job-hunting and employment preparation specialists have visited staff in The Broadway again this week. They began engaging with Crawley's Wilko several weeks ago when it became feared that job losses were likely.
Councillor Atif Nawaz, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council said:
"This is a double blow for Crawley with a centrepiece store in the town lost forever and many people now facing redundancy and a job hunt at a time when rents, mortgages and other essential living costs are rising more rapidly than we’ve seen in many years. We have been able to support the staff and management at Wilko with the advice that our Employ Crawley team can provide, and I wish them the best for the future."
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader at Crawley Borough Council said:
"The loss of Wilko does mean a considerable gap in central Crawley’s retail landscape; I hope there is a suitable replacement found soon and Crawley Borough Council will do what we can to enable that to happen. The Government, however, must recognise that the current system of business rates needs fundamental reform that levels the playing field so that our high streets can thrive. Wilko is not the first example of this tragedy and, if they do not act, I fear it will not be the last."
The Employ Crawley team provides its services free of charge to any borough resident, either moving into work for the first time, or in a while, or wanting to progress their career or training. Employment support hubs are at the Town Hall and the second floor of the main library.
Support available to Wilko staff, and anyone else booking an appointment with Employ Crawley, are CV and cover letter reviews and creation, interview advice and practice, access to workshops and training opportunities.
Businesses are also supported by Employ Crawley with many options available to help them recruit local residents, with the aim of maximising the benefits of creating jobs in the town.