ELECTROLUX workers staring down the barrel of redundancy need to act now, not in two years time says Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) CEO Bruce Buchanan.
Since the announcement on Friday that the factory would close, at least five of the 544 employees who will be made redundant before the end of 2016 have been in to see the BEC to get information, ideas and training on how to start up a small business.
Mr Buchanan said it takes six to 12 months to do enough effective market research before a person can open a business and if employees leave it to the last minute, they will be faced with unemployment rather than a new business opportunity.
“You’ve got to do your research and know that your business is going to be sustainable and viable before you get in to it,” he said.
“You don’t want your business to be a one hit wonder.”
He said Electrolux employees with trades are going to be better off than those without. He believes they could consider starting up their own business, selling their trades or approaching existing businesses as contractors.
“We just want to get across to be pro-active rather than waiting until D-Day so to speak,” he said.
“Start getting on the front foot.”
Those without trades should be getting further education now or they will be left behind, according to Mr Buchanan.
They need to be updating their skills by going to see services such as TAFE, VERTO, OCTEC and Skills Set, he believes.
The BEC offers a service through the NSW Government called Small Biz Connect which can help people set up a business.
The first three consultations are government subsidised and available to any one.
Orange Business Chamber president Tony Healey said it was up to Electrolux to provide re-training to staff.
He said he could not believe the company would announce the closure without a plan already put into place.
“Yes, I’ve heard talk of boycotting Electrolux products until a program is put into place,” he said.
“Before we get to that, let’s see what they come up with.
“The business community would like to see some action from the company on this.”