Over this past week it has become increasingly apparent Britain’s Steel industry is facing some of its most challenging times. Media coverage has been extensive, highlighting a number of factors which have converged recently including Cheap Chinese imports, the strength of the pound and high electricity prices caused by green levies.
Closure of SSI’s Redcar plant last week has resulted in 2,000 Jobs being lost and further this week Tata Steel UK has announced a further 1200 jobs losses at its giant Scunthorpe plant and mills in Scotland.
What does this mean for the future of steel production here in the UK? How can the industry diversify and work through current market challenges?
Gareth Stace, director of trade body UK Steel, stated after a recent summit: I cannot emphasise enough that there is an urgency here and very little time before we start to see more job losses and companies facing intolerable pressure. This really is about saving Britain’s steel industry and time is of the essence.”
With the increase of green renewable fuels what can the government do to protect and safe guard steel workers and their jobs? Although a number of new Nuclear Power stations are in the pipeline it is going to be years before these come online.
What, if anything can the government do to intervene? Should the government use this weeks visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss ways in which the Britain’s Steel industry co-exist with that of China’s Steel industry? Is it time to implement change to somehow regulate global steel prices?
Are there lessons which we can be learnt from other similar industries? Tata Steel provide over 300 Jobs for people living here in Cumbria, how safe is the workforce?
It is clear, without significant change further job losses will be inevitable, there must be a balance sought in order to safeguard jobs and the steel industry as a whole.