Is the worst yet to come....?

David McLean of North Wales have just gone into administration with the loss of 320 jobs (unless a buyer can be found).

This follows the 200 job losses at L'Oreal on Friday and smaller closures at Ferrari's and Trax JH Ltd in the last three days.

The question is whether anything could have been done to save these firms? Could the Assembly Government, if it had acted earlier and more decisively, have helped to save these jobs through a positive intervention?

Who knows after the event, but its continuous denial of the economic situation, ignoring the warning signs and parroting what was going on in Westminster without taking a proactive stance, has certainly not helped.

It is clear that some of those in power remain in denial but if the last recession is anything to go by, then inward investors will already be thinking of 'repatriating' the jobs back to their home countries if it gets any worse.

According to at least one Minister, Assembly staff are in continuous dialogue with major firms although given the way that they seem to adopt the 'startled rabbit' look every time a job closure is made, I am not too sure. Certainly, if they are not, then it is time for some people to reconsider their positions.

Of course, there are fantastic companies in Wales, as anyone who attended the Fast Growth 50 dinner on Friday will testify. It is now critical that these types of companies - which have created over 2500 jobs - are fully supported to survive the current downturn and, more importantly, to be prepared to come out of the recession in a few months' time.

The next few months are critical for the Welsh economy and we can only hope that the Assembly acts quickly, keeps its promises from the economic summit and that our businesses get the support they deserve.

If it doesn't, then losing 550 jobs in two working days could be just the beginning.

Update: Calsonic of Llanelli have announced that another sixty jobs will be lost.

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