Expert offers job hope for mineworkers facing axe
A SWANSEA University professor says there is hope for almost 100 mine workers about to lose their jobs in the Neath Valley.
American firm Walter Energy is believed to be in the process of axing around 90 of its 334-strong workforce at its operation at Aberpergwm due to continuing weak conditions in the global coal market.
Swansea University economics professor David Blackaby said employers are always looking for staff with experience and Neath Port Talbot still relies on production for 23 per cent of its employment.
Professor Blackaby said: "Whenever anyone loses their job it can be devastating for them, and for their families and for their life chances.
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"We know the consequences of unemployment can lead to divorce, illness, depression and even crime.
"On the positive side there's 1,900 vacancies in Swansea and 900 in Neath Port Talbot.
"You are always going to see jobs going but even in a recession you always see the creation of new jobs," he added.
The potential job losses at Aberpergwm also follow the loss of 60 jobs with the closure of Aspers casino on Wind Street in Swansea.
Professor Blackaby said: "The difficulty in the jobs market is matching the skills of those people who lose their jobs with the new jobs that are available.
"There's more than 100 vacancies in distribution, hotels and restaurants in Swansea.
"Looking in front of us the economic situation looks very difficult.
"We could see unemployment rising in the next few months.
"It's quite possible we could see further job losses.
"The cuts at Aspers and Aberpergwm could be the thin end of the wedge."
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