Former J. Smith & Sons employee, Edgar Brus, is helping ex-workmates. He is with Department of Employment staff Gabrielle Keating and Sharon Brown.
Former J. Smith & Sons employee, Edgar Brus, is helping ex-workmates. He is with Department of Employment staff Gabrielle Keating and Sharon Brown. Craig Warhurst

Smith and Sons workers get some job hope

DESPITE losing his job after the collapse of J. Smith & Sons, Edgar Brus is donating his time to help his former workmates find employment.

Mr Brus was one of the 67 who lost their jobs when the trailer manufacturer shut its doors due to poor economic conditions.

The former factory manager said he felt a loyalty to the workers and wanted to help them regain work and stay positive.

He has teamed up with the Gympie office of the Australian Government Department of Employment and is helping Gabrielle Keating and Sharon Brown make contact with former employees.

The goal is to inform the workers of what government help is available and to provide support.

"A lot of the men were feeling lost," Mr Brus said.

"Many had been looking for work in Gympie with no success and are feeling down and out."

Mr Brus said a few of the men had found work, mostly part-time, but others may need to leave town.

Mr Brus was looking at work in Maryborough.

He said it would be a huge blow to the economy to lose the workers.

The wage bill at J. Smith & Son was $100,000 a week - about $5 million a year.

"That's a huge loss," he said.

The Department of Employment is hosting an information day for the ex-workers on December 17 at the RSL, 10.30am-12.30pm.

The workshop will be a one-stop shop, showing workers how to apply for jobs online, write resumes, about fly-in fly-out work and government entitlements.

Gympie Times


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