Alberto Road, Swansea closes with 98% of employees in jobs

Today the Unilever personal care factory on Alberto Road, Swansea, closes its doors after 23 years of manufacturing, with an unprecedented employee redeployment rate of 98%.

Two years ago, Unilever announced that it would be closing the site to open a brand new personal care factory in its historic home, Port Sunlight, where the new manufacturing facility is co-located with its global personal care research & development facility, and its UK home care product factory.

Since then, the company has focused on the legacy of the Swansea factory, including finding new roles for its employees. Now Unilever has confirmed that 98% of employees who have already left and were looking for another role have been successful in securing a job – an extraordinary figure for both the industry, and the region.

Alex Ord, Swansea Factory Director, Unilever UK, said, “As we come to our final close, all of the team here at Swansea are understandably sad. There is a mixture of nervousness and excitement around the site as our team prepares to move into their new companies and roles as the site closes today. But there’s also a unanimous appreciation of the support that they have had in terms of training and development needed for their futures.

“I have worked with these tremendous people for almost seven years, and the loyalty, commitment, performance and unfaltering pride of the team since we announced the closure of the site until today has made me extremely proud and privileged. They are impressive individuals and a formidable team, and I’m so pleased that nearly every person has already been able to find a new job, whether that’s with Unilever or with local employers. I wish every single person the very best in the future.”

To support its 220 employees who worked at the site when the closure was announced in 2012, Unilever offered enhanced discretionary redundancy terms, performance bonuses, outplacement support and skills training. It also hosted an open day in September, to which 11 local businesses were invited to see the site, meet employees and understand their achievements, skills and attitudes.

In addition, Unilever - through the Swansea site - is working with the City & County of Swansea to fund projects to improve the employability prospects of the young people of Swansea, particularly those between the ages of 13-19 who are not currently in education, employment or training. The projects are based around providing non-formal, formal and structured learning opportunities to enhance personal, social and political development and access to transportation to enable the youths to secure employment and further education opportunities.

The factory ceases operation on Friday 31 October 2014. Conversations continue with potential new buyers for the site and a sale will be announced as soon as confirmed.

-Ends-

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries. We work with 174,000 colleagues around the world and generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Over half of our company’s footprint is in the faster growing developing and emerging markets (57% in 2013). 

Working to create a better future every day, we help people feel good, look good and get more out of life. Our portfolio includes some of the world’s best known brands, 14 of which - Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx - now generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.

Our ambition is to double the size of our business, whilst reducing our overall environmental footprint (including sourcing, consumer use and disposal) and increasing our positive social impact. We are committed to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being, sourcing all our agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020, and decoupling our growth from our environmental impact. Supporting our three big goals, we have defined nine commitments, underpinned by targets encompassing social, environmental and economic areas. See more on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan at www.unilever.com/sustainable-living

Unilever has been recognised in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes for 14 consecutive years. We are included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and attained a top environmental score of 5, leading to inclusion in the FTSE4Good Environmental Leaders Europe 40 Index. Unilever has been named sector leader of the CDP’s Forests programme for three consecutive years, and in 2014 led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey - for the fourth year running. Unilever was named LinkedIn’s third most sought-after employer worldwide in 2013.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.co.uk

Katya Bridges - UK and Ireland Media Relations Manager

T: 01372 945925
M: 07785 450287

katya.bridges@unilever.com

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