Posted: 7 January, 2016 at 11:12 am

John welcomes government’s support on steel job cuts

MP John Healey has welcomed confirmation that nearly £2m of Government funding will be made available to support those affected by Tata Steel job cuts.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has said up to £1.5m will support training and accreditation for affected steel workers through local colleges. A further £350,000 will be used to ‘map’ the impact on businesses in the Tata supply chain.

A plan for £9m of support was put together by Rotherham Council backed by Sheffield City Region, MPs and other partners. The package will help workers facing redundancy and supply chain businesses likely to be hit hard, as well as supporting other local companies to create jobs.

The bid was submitted to Government in late December, just after a meeting Mr Healey arranged with the industry minister Anna Soubry.

At that meeting the MP sought and secured assurances that she would do all she could to help South Yorkshire cope with the big blow to the steel industry.

He said: “The minister promised me she would turn round our bid for funding quickly, and I am pleased to hear the Government has agreed to part of our request and confirmed nearly £2m.

“Now we need the remaining £2.5m to support businesses in the supply chain, and I will be pressing the minister to release that as soon as possible.

“We need to give our steel workers and our local economy all the help we can.”

The MP revealed in December that Tata had confirmed to him the loss of 720 jobs in Speciality Steels, most on the Rotherham site.

He described Rotherham as the ‘forgotten town’ of the steel crisis, because the Government had not come forward to offer support as it had in other steel towns facing big job losses.

He called on the Government to announce a support package for South Yorkshire on the same scale as that put in place in Scunthorpe, where £9m from the government and Tata will help steel workers and the local economy.