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Newspaper gives away job ads to beat downturn

A North-East daily newspaper is to carry free job ads next week as part of a campaign to tackle the economic downturn head-on.

The Sunderland Echo has launched its ‘Keep Wearside Working’ campaign and is aiming to keep the city’s spirits up in the face the loss of 1,200 jobs at the Nissan car plant and other gloomy economic news.

Next Monday the Johnston Press daily will publish a supplement in conjunction with the City Council in which Wearside firms will be to advertise their vacancies free of charge.

The Echo has also teamed up with Sunderland University, City of Sunderland College and the Learning and Skills Council to detail courses where people can retrain the financial help available for studying.

In a personal campaign launch message, editor Rob Lawson said: “The devastating loss of 1,200 workers from the Nissan plant was perhaps the blow that made Wearside sit up and realise that no one is safe from this recession.

“But we can’t just sit back and expect this problem to fix itself.

“We launch our Keep Wearside Working campaign in association with Sunderland City Council in a bid to galvanise the community and fight back against the job blows we are taking.

“At the Echo we will be doubling our efforts to keep all our readers up to date with latest news on the jobs and economy front.

“Every day we will feature practical advice on all manner of employment issues, from applying for a job to satisfying your training needs.

“Our pages will feature jobs vacancies in our community as well as personal stories from people fighting back from redundancy.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Wearside MPs have backed the campaign.

And Nissan’s senior vice-president for Europe Trevor Mann told the Echo: “Following the very difficult decision we had to take last week to protect the plant’s future, Nissan remains committed to doing everything possible to help affected staff get back into work as soon as possible.

“Many North East companies continue to be affected by the financial crisis which is not of their making.

“Any measure to help people – not just at Nissan but around the region – get back into work should be applauded.

“Therefore, I would like to wish the Echo’s campaign every success.”