Thursday, May 12, 2016

News: Support for Rotherham employees made redundant by Tata Steel

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As the sale process goes on, support is being provided to Rotherham steelworkers made redundant by Tata Steel.

Almost 700 staff were made redundant within the Rotherham and Stocksbridge plants following a restrucutre announced last year.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) provided funding to help those affected, with additional monies from UK Steel Enterprise. The package has been co-ordinated by local partners and has been used to directly support steel workers looking for new jobs, and businesses relying on Tata for their products and services.

More than 500 people attended two job fairs held specifically for Tata employees, with 35 organisations looking to recruit. They included local companies from different sectors, and recruitment agencies representing many different businesses.

Support for those facing redundancy has also been offered through the Taskforce Resource Centre. One-to-one support has been given to help people prepare their CVs, whilst visitors to the centre have been able to access training funding. Former Tata staff have successfully securing positions at companies including AMG Superalloys UK and Doncasters.

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Former employee Graham Makepeace undertook a multi-skilled training course covering plastering, joinery and plumbing which helped him to secure a full-time position at Barratts/David Wilson Homes. He said the resource centre provided invaluable support at a very difficult time.

Graham added: "It was without doubt really hard leaving Tata and not being sure what my options were. The staff at the Resource Centre though were great and were very supportive. Without this training I would have been in a more difficult position. I would say to anyone else in my position, it's difficult taking those steps, but it's definitely worth persevering with."

Cllr. Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, said: "We appreciate this has been a very difficult time for workers, their families, and supply businesses. The partners have been making every effort to help those affected by helping people find alternative jobs, access training, or simply highlighting new opportunities."

Meanwhile, partners have written to around 400 regional businesses which supply products and services to Tata to offer support. This includes actively working with 15 companies on projects to support growth and diversification. Partners also spoke to local suppliers at Magna's recent Inspiring Yorkshire Business event, providing information about possible contracts, supported by SSE, Yortender, and Invest in Yorkshire.

Images: Tata Steel

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