Worst is over for steel industry, expert forecasts after 900 Tata jobs axed across UK
A STEEL expert says the worst is over for now within the industry after it was announced that 900 jobs would go across Tata in the UK.
The steel giant announced the job losses and closure of 12 sites across the country to try to "improve competitiveness".
But despite the cuts, bosses at the Scunthorpe plant say the site will be unaffected.
Most of the job losses will be in south Wales, including 500 at the Port Talbot plant, under restructuring of management and administrative posts. A total of 580 jobs will be cut in Wales, 155 in Yorkshire, 120 in the West Midlands and 30 on Teesside. The whereabouts of the other 15 job losses have yet to be revealed.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Steel expert Peter Fish, who owns Sheffield-based MEPS International Ltd, said there would now be an upturn in the industry and said European steel-making relied on sites such as Scunthorpe.
"Our forecast for consumption is we are looking at things getting a little bit better, with some modest growth in the next four years," he said.
"I think we are looking at about three per cent per annum.
"I think this is the worst and I don't see things getting worse. I think we have reached the bottom, so at least that is some comfort for people working in the steel industry."
Mr Fish said the news of closing 12 sites sends out a dramatic message, but said these were all service centres and not steel-making sites.
"I think it would need a serious downturn for places like Scunthorpe to close and it is certainly not something we are expecting," he said.
Tata said demand for steel in Europe had fallen by 25 per cent since 2007 and was forecast to slump by another 10 per cent this year.
Karl Kohler, chief executive of Tata Steel's European operations, said job losses were regrettable, but the restructuring would help move the business forward.
"The proposals are part of a strategy to transform ourselves into an all-weather steel producer, capable of succeeding in difficult economic conditions," he said.
"These restructuring proposals will help make our business more successful and sustainable, but the job losses are regrettable and I know this will be a difficult and unsettling time for the employees and their families affected.
"We will be working with our trade unions and Government at a national and local level to ensure we provide them with as much assistance and support as possible."
Nic Dakin, MP for Scunthorpe, said the difficult economic situation meant that job losses could not be helped.
"It continues to be a very difficult global economy, particularly in Europe and that is why I have been arguing for the Government to bring forward its infrastructure project to boost the British manufacturing industry," he said.