PERIMETER PATROL: Out-of-work apprentices Jimmy Ire, 19, and Ryan Daley, 17, walk around the marked perimeter of the Norply ply
PERIMETER PATROL: Out-of-work apprentices Jimmy Ire, 19, and Ryan Daley, 17, walk around the marked perimeter of the Norply ply

Norply a shell, but there?s work to do

By BREE PRICE bprice@northernstar.com.au

RYAN DALEY and Jimmy Ide rise before the sun, put on their usual workclothes and same sturdy boots and drive to the factory where they've worked for a year.

But the two trade apprentices aren't heading to work to carry out their usual duties.

The Kyogle residents are two of a number of Norply employees who are acting as security guards to prevent anyone going into and injuring themselves in the unsafe, blackened shell of their workplace, after the plywood factory was destroyed by fire almost two weeks ago.

The destruction left the factory's 140 employees without jobs.

Permanent staff, like Jimmy and Ryan, are being paid an extra two weeks' wages, and many of them are jumping at the chance to do whatever they can to help the company out.

"We don't want to feel like we are robbing them," 17-year-old electrical apprentice Ryan said.

"They just asked me. It's giving us something to do.

"I like it and Jimmy and I are mates. If I wasn't here I'd be bludging."

"I prefer to be out here doing something," Jimmy, 19, said.

Jimmy, an apprentice fitter and turner, said they pa- trolled the perimeter of the property in pairs to ensure no-one without the proper authority went beyond the safety tape and into what remains of the factory.

He said the work was rotated in eight-hour shifts, with former employees swapping between slots from 5.30am to 1.30pm, 1.30pm to 9.30pm, and 9.30pm to 5.30am.

Both said they were confident about their future, despite losing their jobs.

"We're still looking for jobs and our training group is looking after us," Jimmy said.

"They want to keep us all together."

Ryan and Jimmy said they both lived with their parents, which made the financial impact easier to deal with.

"Everyone is sticking together, but it's a lot easier on us than others," Ryan said.

n What do you think?

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