FORMER workers at Quinn Radiators have spoken of how the sudden loss of their jobs earlier this week has plunged them into difficulties, with many still struggling to come to terms with what has happened.

As they packed into the Newport Centre this morning for a careers support event, hoping to find a way back into employment, the mood was still sombre, and there was plenty of criticism of how the firm had handled the situation.

The Welsh Government organised today's open event for any of the 280 former Quinn employees who turned up to work on Monday, only to find the firm had gone into administration and they had lost their jobs.

Through its ReAct service, the Welsh Government is attempting to guide those employees back into work – but for Quinn's more long-term workers, the job market and application processes are unfamiliar.

In the Newport Centre's crowded Riverfront Suite, several businesses, including Newport Bus and Amazon, had also set up stalls offering job opportunities to those who had been laid off.


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One former Quinn employee, who worked in the firm's Duffryn factory for three years as a production supervisor, said: "What they're doing is keeping us hopeful – it's a massive help to some employees who spent 12 or 15 years at Quinn Radiators and don't know now how to look for a job.

"Everyone thought that job [at Quinn] was stable."

He added: "It's a helpful opportunity for some people who've been left by Quinn Radiators without any money.

"We all live different lifestyles, and some people live from payday to payday.

"We should have had a payday this week."

Workers were in a state of disbelief on Monday after being handed letters saying their contracts had been "terminated".

Another worker, from Newport, who spent four years at Quinn Radiators, said he and his partner were expecting a baby in three months' time, and were planning to move to a new home this month,

"Now we're going to struggle with the rent," he said.

"People aren't happy with the way [Quinn] has dealt with things. There was no notice, and they didn't even give us an opportunity to find work."

READ MORE: Quinn Radiators should be 'ashamed' of how workers in Newport were told they were losing their jobs – minister

And his colleague, a machine operator at Quinn for two years, agreed the announcement had been badly managed.

"If a company is going down, the workers should know about it two months down the line, not two hours before," he said.

"I've got a mortgage to pay and two kids."

In a statement on Monday, administrators Grant Thornton LLP said Quinn Radiators had struggled to remain competitive when faced with higher raw material prices and cheaper imports.

The company had sought a buyer, but when talks failed last week the administrators were brought in.