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Laid-off Kaiam workers assured support will continue

More than 300 people were made redundant from the firm's Livingston plant on Christmas Eve.

Laid-off workers at a computer component factory in West Lothian have been assured that they will continue to receive financial and employment support as they try to hunt for jobs.

More than 300 people were made redundant from the Kaiam plant in Livingston on Christmas Eve.

They are still waiting for redundancy payments to come through as they begin the search for work.

The factory constructed specialist fibre-optic technology for computer networks.

Former employee Joanne Baxter told STV News: "I've had to go down to sign on at the job centre - and you think, 'I can't believe I'm sitting here'.

"It's your independence, you're bringing your wage in, you're meeting all your friends, exchanging stories at your work and having a laugh, working away - and it's that that keeps you going.

"I've got to see about my direct debits, Sky and things like that, because we can't pay them."

Kaiam in Livingston
Kaiam Media

West Lothian Council and employment agency Pace, which was set up by the Scottish Government, have pledged to support staff. A jobs fair will be held at the Regal Theatre in Bathgate next Thursday.

Locals have also rallied round, donating food parcels and Christmas gifts to families affected by the layoffs.

Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan, deputy leader of West Lothian Council, said: "It was an absolutely devastating blow for the staff and families of Kaiam, particularly coming so close to Christmas.

"In the immediate aftermath the council, working in partnership with Pace, set up a help centre to offer financial and employment advice. That support will continue."

Ms Sullivan added that a number of former Kaiam workers have already been offered roles with other technology companies.

Kaiam executives have not been available for comment, but chief executive Bardia Pezeshki reportedly told a trade website that the closure of the Livingston plant would have a knock-on effect on its American operations. He said he could not rule out the US part of the business becoming insolvent.

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