North Wales Minister Ken Skates has provided an update on the cross-border response to support the Airbus workforce.

The minister said that the Regional Employment Response Group has conducted its first meeting to ensure the needed support is implemented quickly and effectively.

Airbus, the supply chain, trade unions, main partners and agencies from North Wales and the Mersey Dee area were involved in the meeting.

In April this year, Airbus announced its plans to furlough 3,200 staff at its Broughton facility in Wales, UK.

The company employs 6,000 highly skilled, well-paid employees at Broughton.

With production rates dropped by 30%, Airbus is adapting its global workforce. This is expected to result in a reduction of nearly 15,000 positions worldwide before mid-2021.

The company’s two sites in Broughton, Deeside, and Filton, Bristol, will be most impacted.

Skates said: “We are all aware of the catastrophic effect the Covid-19 outbreak is having on the aerospace sector, and the devastating impact it is having on the industry in North East Wales.

“Our response is based on collaboration. Building on the extremely close working relationship the Welsh Government enjoys with partners in North Wales and across the wider Mersey Dee area.

“We are utilising the multi-agency Regional Employment Response Group to enable us to work jointly and coordinate efforts to support the Airbus workforce and the wider supply chain.”

The group has agreed to provide oversight of the labour market. It will work on generating employment opportunities locally.

In the next few weeks, a manufacturing summit primarily focusing on North Wales is expected to be held.

Additionally, the Welsh and the Scottish Governments, along with Northern Ireland Executive, have urged the UK Government to form an aerospace task force for the affected workers.

Skates added: “We have strong partnerships in North Wales and across the border and these have never been more important.

“We are also working with the UK Government as this is a global issue which requires action on a UK-wide level, which we will continue to press for.”