Staff affected by the Hawick Knitwear crisis are being supported through the Government’s PACE initiative, revealed business minister Fergus Ewing, on a visit to the factory today (Wednesday).
Mr Ewing met administrators KPMG, management, staff, and representatives from Scottish Borders Council and Scottish Enterprise to assess implications for Hawick and the textiles industry.
Mr Ewing said: “This is a hugely difficult time for everyone at Hawick Knitwear Ltd and especially for the 119 employees who have lost their jobs so shortly after Christmas.
“We are supporting staff facing redundancy through our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) which provides tailored skills development and employability.
“All affected employees have already received information on PACE and a PACE Redundancy Support Event and Jobs Fair will take place this Friday to highlight job opportunities among local businesses.
“The Scottish textiles industry has a rich heritage and is hugely important to the local economy.
“Scottish Enterprise has helped support and encourage the industry’s growth in recent years and it’s clear to me that while the textiles industry is facing challenges, I am optimistic there is a viable future for this business.
“Our efforts are therefore completely focused on working with the administrators to find new owners and Scottish Enterprise will explore all available options for supporting the business and retaining as many staff as possible.
Mr Ewing also revealed he was calling a round table forum with businesses in the town.
“Given the scale of the situation facing Hawick Knitwear Ltd, I will convene a round table for businesses in Hawick,” he said.
“This will be an chance for me to listen to local businesses and understand the challenges they currently face and to explore potential opportunities and what support might be needed to help businesses bring those to fruition.”
The round table meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2.