Pledge to find new jobs for under-threat Tata Steel workers in Rotherham

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion.
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion.
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Tata Steel have pledged to try to find new jobs for 135 workers whose current roles are being moved out of Rotherham.

The company is moving the specialist research and development jobs from Swinden Technology Centre in Rotherham to Warwick.

Local MP Sarah Champion has called for Government intervention to stop the move, but the company said today it hopes affected employees can still be retained. Tata said it does expect some workers to move but will try to find new jobs within the company for those who are staying.

A spokesman said: “We recognise not all of our current workforce based at Rotherham’s Swinden Technology Centre will relocate to Warwick, though we are expecting some to, so we will continue to look at alternative employment options elsewhere within the Tata Steel business.

“We will continue to employ more than 2,000 people in South Yorkshire at our Speciality Steels business, including more than 1,000 in Rotherham.”

Plans to make the move were announced by the company in September, with Tata saying at the time the process could take two years to complete.

In a speech in the House of Commons, Ms Champion said the Government should work with the firm and trade unions to find ‘an alternative solution’.

She said: “The relocation is a lose-lose situation. Tata could lose skilled workers and those workers could lose their livelihoods.

“I ask that the Government intervene to support Rotherham’s team by working closely with Tata Steel and the unions to establish an alternative solution.

“It is not right that such a concentration of highly skilled workers is lost, particularly as the advanced manufacturing centre’s catapult scheme and the steel proving factory are both in Rotherham.”

Ms Champion said more general support needs to be given to the British steel industry, as national firms are having to pay higher business rates and energy bills than their European rivals.

Speaking afterwards, Ms Champion said: “I don’t think it makes any sense to relocate certain jobs to Warwick when much of the workforce will remain in Rotherham. The Government needs to step in and find a better solution which would help more people keep their jobs without the need to uproot them.”