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Agency responds to bank job losses

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Measures to ease the impact of hundreds of redundancies at Northern Rock bank have been introduced by the regional development agency in the North East.

The agency, One NorthEast, says every worker affected by redundancy will have their own exclusive access to a specially designed website containing hundreds of vacancies in the North East, which becomes effective once redundancy is confirmed.

Northern Rock has announced 1,300 job losses - including around 800 compulsory redundancies - after it was hit by a shortage of funds as a result of the credit crunch.

The bank said it expects to be left with an estimated 4,000 staff.

A dedicated telephone hotline staffed by employment experts, will guide those losing their jobs onto new employment opportunities and offer advice on available benefits.

Staff will also be given one-to-one counselling, analysing their skills to match them to current vacancies as well as help to retrain or be given guidance on how to start up their own business.

Every Northern Rock worker affected by redundancy will be given their own password and security details to access a job vacancies website.

Alan Clarke, One NorthEast Chief Executive and Chairman of the Northern Rock Response Group, said: "The priority of the response group is to give every employee affected by redundancy the best possible chance to find suitable new work in the North East.

"I am confident that the skills Northern Rock workers have will mean that the vast majority of them will find suitable new work in the region."

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