UK steelmakers to cut jobs as ironmakers axe thousands of jobs
By James Haines The steelmakers of Sheffield are facing cuts of up to 500 jobs as the company’s ironmaking unit heads towards the end of its lifespan.
The news follows the news last month that a separate steelmaking unit in the city of Wrexham had also closed, with a total of 4,000 jobs being lost.
The closure comes amid the wider steel and aluminium sector in Sheffield, which is seeing its workforce fall to less than 500.
The Steel and Fittings Board of the Steel Industry Association (SFA) has been in talks with the steelmaker and the local council to find a new way forward, which could see the closure of the other steelworks.
The announcement comes on the same day the government announced a £20m investment to rebuild Sheffield’s transport network, which was hit by the financial crisis.
A spokesperson for the SFA said: “The decision to close the steelworks is a difficult one and one which the council cannot afford.
The council has asked the government to look at all options for the future of the Sheffield steelworks and the council’s steelworkers, and the SFEA will continue to work with the government on the best possible solutions.”
It is understood the council is looking at the closure as part of its restructuring of the steel industry in the area.
It comes as the UK steel industry continues to see its workers cut back, with the total number of steelworkers down to just over 500 from over 3,000 in the late 1980s.
This follows a further decline in steelworkers’ numbers over the past two years, and in January, the city council reported that only 2,000 of its steelworkers had left the city.