It is nearly a year since Tata Steel announced it was shedding 685 workers from its speciality steels business in Rotherham and Stocksbridge – but what happened to them?
The bombshell announcement triggered an unprecedented campaign of support.
A rapidly assembled Steel Taskforce secured pledges of £9million to help pay for re-training and support for the supply chain.
Today, some 480 workers have been helped.
Hundreds attended two job fairs featuring 35 companies looking to recruit.
A Resource Centre has helped people prepare CVs and access training funding. Meanwhile, letters were sent to 400 regional businesses which supply products and services to Tata to offer support, including projects to support growth and diversification.
Support workers also spoke to firms at the Inspiring Yorkshire Business event at Magna, providing information about possible contracts. The initiative was supported by power firm SSE, Yortender, and Invest in Yorkshire.
John Healey is MP for Wentworth and Dearne and a member of the Steel Taskforce for Rotherham. He said: “The Tata redundancies in Rotherham and Stocksbridge have been a real body blow to the area.
“The steel industry is at the heart of South Yorkshire’s economy and to lose so many jobs in such a short time was devastating for families and communities.
“That is why Labour MPs fought hard for an extra £1.5million of Government funding, which has provided vital support and training to get ex-steelworkers back into employment. And, because of the hard work of people like Sarah Stanley and Jane Frost ,it has been a great success.”
The Taskforce comprises Rotherham and Sheffield Councils, Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, UK Steel Enterprise, Government agencies including Jobcentre Plus and the Skills Funding Agency, Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, trade unions, Tata Steel, RNN Group, National Careers Service and Money Advice Service.
Any former Tata Steel employee wanting help and advice can phone Sarah Stanley on 01709 254564.