February 23, 2023 4.30 pm This story is over 14 months old

Scunthorpe steelworkers who lose job guaranteed council interview

260 job losses announced

All British Steel workers who lose their job because of the planned closure of the coke ovens are guaranteed a job interview with the council.

Councillor Rob Waltham, North Lincolnshire Council’s leader said they would do everything to support the families.

He urged private employers in the town to consider matching this offer.

On Wednesday, February 22, British Steel’s owners Jingye Group announced that up to 260 jobs will go as it chooses to close the steelworks coke ovens.

Councillor Waltham said: “I think it’s a really sad time for the families of the people whose jobs are at risk.

“We’ve been here before, we’ve had these challenging times before. From the council’s perspective, we are going to do everything we can to support those families, those individuals, that are hearing this news today.”

The council already announced on Wednesday morning the creation of a task force to help those affected find alternative jobs.

This will be in partnership with local steel representatives, MPs Holly Mumby-Croft and Andrew Percy, and other agencies.

Councillor Waltham added: “From our perspective we will set up a taskforce as soon as we know the extent of any job losses. We will work really closely across all the public sector.

North Lincolnshire Council Leader Rob Waltham has promised to help those affected

“Most importantly, we will be offering an interview to anybody who’s losing their job at the council. So they will be able to access any vacancies that we have on offer.

“I’m sure that other employers will be up for doing the same, so it’s a significant contribution. Our thoughts are with families and individuals who are at risk today.

“But suffice to say, the council will step up and do everything it can to support getting those skills and talented people back into the labour market as quickly as we can.”

British Steel has blamed higher energy costs, inflation and the need to improve environmental performance for the job cuts.

Its bills for energy and carbon increased by £190 million last year.

Chief executive Xifeng Han said: “To build a secure future for British Steel, and protect skilled and well-paid careers for thousands of employees and many more in our supply chain, we are – like many other businesses – proposing to streamline our business.

“We’re disappointed at having to make such proposals but are confident they will support a successful transformation.”

Talks between the government and British Steel’s owners Jingye Group about a possible £300m government rescue package of support to encourage long-term investment in the steelworks future have been going on for months. Jingye have described the talks so far as “unsatisfactory”.

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