§ Mr. Hepburn
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what financial support will be provided to the people of South Tyneside after the loss of jobs in Viasystems. 
§ Mr. Nicholas Brown
Redundancies can have a devastating effect on local economies, especially where they occur in an area of high unemployment or the local economy is largely dependent on one industry. We are introducing the rapid response service so as to reduce the impact of large-scale redundancy on the whole community. The service offers a coherent response tailored to need and will help those affected by redundancy to make the transition to sustainable new jobs offering opportunities for progression.
The service is already helping people who have lost their jobs at Viasystems. Following the announcement of redundancies, rapid response funding of £202,000 was secured to provide help with training and resettlement. In the light of the company being placed in receivership additional measures were introduced to provide support for the redundant workers, including a telephone helpline for information on jobs, training and benefits. Additional staff from Employment Service. South Tyneside metropolitan borough council, Learning and Skills Council, North Tyneside council and local colleges ran sessions aimed at providing advice and counselling for redundant employees. Advice sessions have been held at local community centres which were attended by over 100 people. A further event with training providers and employers was held at Jarrow jobcentre on 20 October and attended by over 70 people and redundant workers were also invited to an employment fair at the South Shields families day on 23 October.