"Cineworld staff could become care workers," says work and pensions secretary

5 October 2020, 09:36 | Updated: 5 October 2020, 09:51

By Fiona Jones

Work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey told Nick Ferrari that Cineworld workers "who are used to doing customer service and aspects of hospitality" could become care workers, after the cinema chain announced temporary closures.

The comment came after the news that 5,500 UK jobs will be affected after cinema chain Cineworld confirmed plans to temporarily close its sites in both the UK and the US after big studios started to delay their major film releases.

"Clearly Cineworld have come to the conclusion without the rollout of brand new films, they're just not going to get the number of cinema-goers that they would expect, and conscious of the restrictions that are there as well," Ms Coffey said, pointing out that the company have branded this closure "temporary."

She continued: "In terms of the sort of help we can provide, it may be that people who are used to doing customer service, aspects of hospitality, we can actually draw out of those skills and make them consider a role in social care.

"Even if that's only in the short term as social care covers a wide variety of support that needs to be given in their homes or in homes and so it's those sorts of jobs that are available and people can perhaps undertake those roles in the near future."

Nick asked whether one goal of Ms Coffey's would be to get people to go from working in a Cineworld selling tickets to working in a care home.

"It may well be, but a lot of this is about customer service and then bringing out the skills of that and how they are transferrable," Ms Coffey said, "I think it's about that tailored support where people may not have already found different roles already."