A NUMBER of former employees of Flynns Fine Foods gathered in Roslea for the first time since the shock announcement of its closure to seek out advice from support services.
As the news of the company’s closure sank in around the small Roslea community, a handful of Flynns staff attended a redundancy clinic which included statutory agencies Fermanagh Enterprise Agency, South West College and Citizens Advice Bureau.
The aim of the clinic, held in the community hall, was to provide advice on benefits, retraining and job opportunities.
It has since emerged that out of the 40 redundant employees, just two have secured work elsewhere.
Ciaran Rooney, pictured, from FRCI (Fermanagh Rural Community Initiative) was on hand to guide the former staff into new employment and how they can explore new skills.
He highlighted the culture shock some staff may suffer.
“These former employees would have been with the Flynn family for a very long time,” he said.
“It’s a culture shock for them to come in to something like this today (Friday) as most would never have dealt with these kinds of people.
“There was a lot of younger people and they are full of energy but it will be hard for older people especially men in their 40s who are used to certain ways.
“We receive European funding so we can put people on courses and help them with their interview skills. We are here to provide them with guidance on what they can do next.”
Over 40 workers were made redundant after administrators moved in to the meat and bacon company and closed the business with immediate effect.
For the vast majority of staff it came as a shock.
One former employee of Flynns, who didn’t want to be named, said that while he suspected things “weren’t good” he never believed the company was at a critical stage.
“They were signs that things weren’t right because the stock wasn’t there but I didn’t know it was that bad because things were kept hush-hush,” he said.
“I had only been with the company a short time, the reality of it all didn’t hit me until I got home later that day.
“I thought it was just a money thing but I realised how bad it was. Everybody was gobsmacked about it.”
The former worker said he hoped to secure work locally as a courier.
“I’m not sure what work there is or where I want to go to.
“People are just facing brick walls when looking for work because these days it’s all about qualifications.”
Another employee who is a parent from Roslea said the lack of local work could force her to travel to Belfast.
She went along to the redundancy clinic in search of advice in the hope of finding a way forward.
“I have to look at so many different areas to stand a chance of getting any work, I may have to travel to Belfast.
“I want to get work as soon as I can because I’m not a person for sitting in the house.
“I’m here today to see what is on offer and have to spoken to people from SWC and I might start a course if I can’t get a job.
“I’m still in shock over what has happened and although I knew we weren’t doing well I thought we could have got through it.”
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