Royal Mail delivers seasonal jobs boost for Port Talbot
ROYAL Mail bosses have delivered 200 jobs to Port Talbot just in time for Christmas.
They have officially opened a seasonal sorting office to deal with a massive increase in parcel posts during the festive period.
The temporary parcel sort centre at Baglan Industrial Estate is one of eight being opened by Royal Mail across the UK.
It is expected to handle more than 289,000 parcels on the busiest days in the run-up to Christmas.
The centres will sort a "significant proportion" of the parcels Royal Mail handles before they are distributed around the UK and delivered to people's doors. One of the temporary team of workers is 21-year-old Lloyd Afan-Jones, from Port Talbot.
Lloyd worked at the temporary centre last year but has not worked since, despite trying for jobs under JobSeekers Allowance.
"I applied again this year and was lucky enough to get a job again," said Lloyd.
"I love it here and if I could I would stay but unfortunately it's only temporary.
"I would definitely want to come back next year but my plan is to get a job in the meantime, with Royal Mail if I can."
Aberavon AM David Rees has been to the centre and said it was great for Port Talbot.
"Most of the parcels are due to Amazon and this is a boost for the town," he said. "It's disappointing the jobs are not permanent but any opportunity for young people in particular to get experience is critical even if it's only on a temporary basis.
"Two of the young people I spoke to worked there last year but have not been able to get a job since. We have to make sure these people can get jobs."
Royal Mail said the investment in the dedicated parcel sort centres was in addition to the substantial financial commitment it normally made on additional resources to handle the festive mailbag.
Managing director of operations and modernisation Mark Higson said: "Christmas is the busiest time of year for Royal Mail and our customers. Royal Mail has invested in eight dedicated parcel sort centres to increase our scale and improve our flexibility during this important time of year for our customers."
The other centres are in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bolton, Tamworth, Peterborough, Swindon and Greenford.
Mr Higson added: "As we do every year, we encourage people to post early and order presents early to help us spread the workload of handling the festive mailbag in the run-up to Christmas. We also encourage people to make sure they correctly address their post."