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SSI Task Force publishes “One Year On” Report

SSI Task Force Press Release

In September 2015 production was halted at the SSI UK steelworks in Redcar, two weeks later the plant was closed resulting in an estimated 3,000 job losses. The SSI Task Force, set up to provide support to former SSI and supply chain workers, has published a report setting out the help given to those affected over the last year.

The report summarises progress across the range of support measures, including how the £46m Government funding made available to the Task Force has been invested to date. It also features case studies of people who have found new jobs following the closure of the steelworks.

Progress since the Task Force was established includes:

  • Around 9 in 10 (1,990) of the 2,150 SSI and other workers who made an initial claim for benefits have since ended that claim*
  • Over 500 former SSI workers have not made any benefit claim to date
  • 821 new jobs have been created through the SSI Fund
  • 410 jobs have been safeguarded through the SSI Fund
  • 50 former SSI Apprentices were found training or employment
  • 418 people have been given initial individual advice as a first step to starting their own business and 172 new businesses have been started
  • 15,510 training courses have been approved
  • 2988 people received advice and support from Jobcentre Plus and Support Hub

 Amanda Skelton, Chair of the SSI Task Force and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said:

“The closure of SSI was a devastating event for workers, their families and the wider community.  Overnight, 170 years of steel making came to an end which resulted in mass unemployment, financial hardship and a shared sense of grief at the loss of our heritage. Since that time many people have worked hard to rebuild careers, lives and create new opportunities. The Task Force felt it was important to reflect on the progress made in the last 12 months.  The report highlights some of the individual success stories of inspirational people who have been able to find new work, set up their own business and train for a new career. But we also recognise there is still much more to be done to rebuild our community and economy so that we can secure a sustainable future for our local area in the long term.”

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

“Growing up in Teesside, I know the closure of SSI had a huge impact on the communities of Redcar and the Tees Valley.  Government assistance has supported the vast majority of those affected into new jobs, helped them set up new businesses or get the training to start on a new career path. This report shows the encouraging progress the Task Force has made so far, but Government is clear there is more we can do to support local growth in the area.”

Lord Heseltine said:

“The closure of SSI was clearly an incredibly difficult time for Redcar and the wider Tees Valley, but today’s report shows the real progress that’s been made just one year later.

With a ground-breaking devolution deal and the new mayoral development corporation – the first ever of its kind outside of London – there is real cause for optimism for the region’s economic future.”

The report details the funding invested into each support programme, as well as capturing important lessons learned through the partnership working adopted by the Task Force.

To download the full report and for further information from the SSI Task Force visit www.ssitaskforce.co.uk