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SSI workers get £80m pledge as UK firm goes into liquidation

The government has pledged an £80m package to support redundant workers at Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK’s Redcar plant, on the day the UK arm of the Thai firm went into liquidation.

Government has proposed an £80m package for workers to retrain at local further education colleges and through Jobcentre Plus.

Money will also be provided to assist workers wishing to start up their own businesses.

The government said it would also consider proposals put forward by the local taskforce being led by of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council chief executive Amanda Skelton.

It follows news that SSI UK, the owners of the Redcar steelworks, has applied to the courts in Thailand to wind up its UK arm.

It was revealed on Monday that 1,700 jobs would go SSI ended production at its iron and steel-making facilities on Teesside.

The government today confirmed that the company had made a “last minute and unrealistic request for the taxpayer to make an open-ended funding commitment to maintain the coke ovens in Redcar”.

It said the government had “no confidence that this is a realistic proposal for taxpayers to support” and would have breached state aid rules.

Business secretary Sajid Javid and business minister Anna Soubry will attend a taskforce meeting in Redcar today.

The government will hold a steel summit on Friday 16 October.

Steel companies, MPs, trade unions, Welsh and Scottish government representatives will be invited to examine the market and devise a sustainable future for the industry.

Business secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is an extremely difficult time for the workforce at SSI and the local community.

“The package we are announcing today will provide important support to workers and the local economy. Across government we will continue to focus on providing assistance where we can.”

 

 

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