New jobs at E.ON - as redundancies bite

ENERGY giant E.ON has announced a major recruitment drive at three of its Nottingham centres - just six months after its shock decision to pull out of Ipswich.

ENERGY giant E.ON has announced a major recruitment drive at three of its Nottingham centres - just six months after its shock decision to pull out of Ipswich.

E.ON announced in October that it was closing its Wherstead Park operation in Ipswich with the loss of 339 jobs, ending an association with between the electricity industry and the site going back more than 50 years.

Around 270 staff are still working at Wherstead Park, where E.ON is due to cease operations at the end of June. More than 50 employees have already left with a redundancy package, with most finding new work or choosing not to look for another job, the German-based company said yesterday.

Around 30 others have resigned in advance of their leaving date and have secured alternative employment.

E.ON says “a small number” of Ipswich staff have obtained roles elsewhere in the company.

The firm announced yesterday that it was creating 465 jobs in a new recruitment drive in the Midlands which will continue all year.

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The positions will include managers, computer staff and customer services and will spread across three sites in Nottingham, where E.ON already employs 3,500 staff.

Mandy Flatley, head of human resources for E.ON UK's retail division, said: “We are proud to be one of Nottingham's top employers - both in terms of the number of colleagues we have here, and also in terms of the excellent salaries, benefits, training and development opportunities we offer.

“It's a real joy to be able to bring even more jobs to the city, and we're working hard with Nottingham's other employers to ensure we can attract as many local people as possible.

“We're fully committed to ensuring E.ON remains a great place to work and that we continue to demonstrate our credentials as a clear employer of choice.”

The company has offered its Ipswich site for sale and a company spokeswoman said it was “in discussion with a few different people”.

“A small number of colleagues have obtained roles elsewhere within E.ON, with the counselling process continuing to include this option for remaining colleagues, particularly in light of E.ON's recent announcement regarding the creation of 465 new roles across three of its existing sites in Nottingham,” she said.

“We're actively working to support colleagues on opportunities available externally ahead of leaving dates - three recruitment fairs are being held on site and over 20 companies have attended these.”

There was anger in October when reports emerged that redundancy packages had been reduced just a week before the job losses were announced. But the company confirmed yesterday that an announcement followed shortly afterwards and employees will be getting their previous redundancy packages.

The spokeswoman added that since the closure announcement, the firm had been “working with colleagues to counsel them through the process, identifying opportunities for redeployment, discussing when roles end and explaining the support available prior to E.ON operations ceasing at the site at the end of June 2008”.