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Former Owen Pugh workers given job advice

By Kris Jepson

Workers who were made redundant by the North East civil engineering firm Owen Pugh last week have been given advice on jobs, re-training and benefits.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

The company went into administration last Monday and two days later made 257 of its workers redundant.

Four of its sites in Dudley, Cramlington, Blaydon and Stockton were closed by administrators after it was revealed cash flow problems in the last year have made high profile projects, like the Silverlink Roundabout, "commercially unsuccessful" for the firm.

Owen Pugh Credit: ITV News

The special surgery was organised by local Labour MP Mary Glindon.

For me it was important that everybody who has sadly been made redundant from Owen Pugh have been given the best advice and I think to show a little bit of moral support for everybody, if you've ever been made redundant it's a really, really low time for you and you need to see there's people out there who will help you a little way, along the way, when you're trying to find work.

– Mary Glindon MP, Labour, North Tyneside

One worker who attending the meeting was veteran soldier James Lamb.

He worked for Owen Pugh for two years as a tipper truck driver. He said the longer he is out of work, the more worrying the situation will be.

I'm really concerned I've actually lost my job, because I need to feed the family and plus the weekly wage was paying for my rent, which now I need to find other means of earning money. As in a full-time job.

– James Lamb, Former Owen Pugh Employee

Mary Glindon MP brought in officials from Jobcentre Plus to offer support and advice.

Job advice Credit: ITV News

Gary Tait is from the Department for Work and Pensions' Rapid Response team.

They've certainly taken on board the advice that's been given to them and we've pointed them into the direction to help them with CVs, with interview skills, and we've offered training support to them as well. Hopefully that should remove any barriers that they've got to get them into work.

– Gary Tait, DWP Rapid Response Team

Thirty-nine employees remain at two of six Owen Pugh sites, but for hundreds of other former employees the challenge is now to find new jobs.

Nine of the employees remain working at the group’s head office to help administrators.

The company was founded in 1946 as a specialist in construction plant hire before branching out into wider construction and engineering work.