Home » Hundreds of jobs to be lost as company announces closure of Oldham site

Hundreds of jobs to be lost as company announces closure of Oldham site

According to Oldham Council, around 350 jobs are set to be affected by the closure, with the local authority having developed a support plan as it remains in discussions with Yodel.

Yodel was bought by a consortium called YDLPG, led by rival operator Shift, in a rescue deal after reports circulated that Yodel was lining up potential administrators in case a takeover could not be agreed.

In a statement from the delivery service’s CEO, Mike Hancox, he said: “Following a comprehensive strategic review of our operations we have taken the difficult decision to propose to close our national sortation and transport centre located in Shaw, Greater Manchester.

“We are hugely grateful for the support of our colleagues based at Shaw over the years and we are now working in close consultation with all relevant stakeholders to provide guidance and support to those affected.

“Yodel has experienced a significant transformation over recent years with the rapid growth of our customer-to-customer service, Yodel Direct, and expansion of our Out of Home network and international operations.

“To meet demand for growing capacity and evolving parcel types with different sortation needs, we continue to invest in infrastructure and technology across our network including our core Wednesbury and Hatfield sortation centres.”

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Trade union Usdaw, which said around 230 roles are at risk of redundancy, said: “Yodel’s proposal to close their Shaw site is a devastating blow for staff and the wider community. Usdaw will now enter into meaningful consultation talks with the company, where we will interrogate their business case for this closure and seek the best possible outcome for our members.

“In the meantime, we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation that they need at this difficult time.”

Current leader of Oldham Council, Arooj Shah, said: “This is devastating news for local people and their families and friends. These potentially large-scale job losses come at a time when people are already struggling because of the cost of living crisis in the UK.

“We are stepping up to help as a Council – and will continue to support local workers in any way we can. Officers are working with Yodel management and have developed an urgent plan of action to provide support.

“Our specialist staff and resources are being dedicated to these efforts in areas such as helping people find new jobs, training opportunities, and linking them up with wider Council and partners’ support services.”

The council has said its initial support package includes:

  • Advisors from the Get Oldham Working team based at the depot in Shaw to provide an on-the-spot service aiming to help people find work and training opportunities
  • Information and immediate access to the Get Oldham Working service, which includes support in finding and applying for jobs, advice on employment options, advice on suitable training, support to access courses and apprenticeships, information about local jobs and recruitment events, support and signposting to other services to help with areas such as money management, energy and household bills, benefits, and health and well-being
  • Signposting to wider job opportunities and initiatives in Greater Manchester, including for people employed at the Shaw site but not living in Oldham
  • Links to local specialist recruitment agencies, such as for HGV drivers

Cllr Shah added: “This is a committed local workforce who have worked hard to deliver for Yodel, and have significant skills and abilities that other organisations can benefit from.

“It’s a real blow for local people but we are determined to do everything we can to help them and to continue growing various areas of our local economy and help create more jobs for the future.”

Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton, said: “This is very difficult news for constituents of mine in Oldham West and Royton who work there, along with their families and the wider community. I back the work the Council is doing to support those affected by job losses.

“Yet again it is towns like Oldham which are paying the price for this government’s mismanagement of the economy. I call on the Government to do more to save these jobs and others like them which are under threat, such as work previously undertaken with the Raven Mill site in 2019.”

Cllr Howards Sykes, leader of the Oldham Liberal Democrats and a ward councillor for Shaw, said: “My first thoughts are with the staff and their families who are personally affected by this decision by Yodel. 

“This news will hardly come as a surprise, but it is still a disappointment for those affected.”

Cllr Sykes, who said he referred the situation to the council and the Get Oldham Working team, added: “The loss of well-paid blue-collar jobs is hard to take for Shaw and Oldham. 

“We have done everything we can to urge Yodel to look after their local workforce, which they have assured me they are doing.  But job losses are difficult and painful.”