Steel Closure Update
This is the fifth update to help keep you informed about what the council is doing to support our staff and anyone affected by the closure of SSI. It is important that as many people as possible are aware of what support is on offer, so please share this information with friends, family and others in your community.
What you need to know this week:
Jobs and Skills Fair
A Jobs and Skills Fair has been organised for Saturday 21st November at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough by the Task Force. It starts at 10am and runs until 3pm. Employers already confirmed as attending include Nissan, EE, Eddie Stobart, BAE Systems and MAP Group UK. Over 100 people have now got a job as a direct result of the first Jobs Fair, and we expect to see that number increase as applications progress.
Jobcentre Plus and the National Careers Service continue to operate an appointment service from Redcar and Cleveland College although numbers attending continue to reduce. Appointments can be made by calling the Jobcentre Plus Telephone Helpline on 0191 382 1003. Other agencies who were involved in providing advice in relation to benefits, pensions, debt advice etc. have now returned to their own premises, and their contact numbers can be found on the links at the end of this article. Over 2500 people have now received support from the Hub.
Lord Heseltine Visit
Lord Heseltine has been appointed chair of the Tees Valley Inward Investment Initiative, which will have a specific remit to attract foreign investment and boost the region's international profile. He will work closely with UK Trade & Investment, Tees Valley Unlimited the SSI Task Force to oversee negotiations with potential investors.
There are a number of funds available for former SSI workers and those in the supply chain to apply for totalling over £42million. These include:
- Jobs and Skills Fund (£16.5million) - This is a wage subsidy scheme which is intended to encourage businesses to create new job opportunities and to employ former SSI employees, supply chain workers affected by the closure of SSI and spouses or partners of workers, who are living in the same household. The scheme will subsidise the cost of employment for positions made available for a minimum of three years. There is a link to the Jobs and Skills Fund at www.teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk
- Support Fund (£16million) - This is a grant support to SSI supply chain companies to overcome problems of lost revenue and debt, together with grant support to encourage growth companies to bring forward their growth proposals and create new job opportunities. There is a link to the Support Fund at www.teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk
- Safety Net Fund (£2.4million) - The Safety Net Fund covers crisis situations where, because of a loss of employment income, there is a severe risk to the health, safety and security of the applicant, or an immediate family member or dependent which cannot be met from another source. For example, there may be no immediate access to food, heating etc. because of income lost through unemployment. Applications are completed online - there is a link to the Safety Net Fund at www.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/taskforce
- Business Advice (£750,000) - This fund will be made available to former SSI workers to provide business start-up advice and the provision of grants to enable them to start up a business. There is a link to the Business Advice Fund at www.teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk
- A £1.7m package to enable the former SSI apprentices to complete their training. Details are available at www.teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk
- Up to £3m for retraining through Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough, Stockton Riverside and Hartlepool colleges.
- A Flexible Support Fund worth £2.6m for further training, including longer-term courses. Details are available atwww.teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk
If employers contact us offering positions for former SSI employees, please contact email@example.com telephone 01642 398812 or 01642 413708.
Dedicated SSI Task Force email address:
A dedicated email address has been set up for any SSI related enquiries. If you receive an enquiry and you are unsure how to respond, please forward this to firstname.lastname@example.org and this will be allocated to the relevant person to respond.
Teesside Steel Appeal
A cross party group has set up an appeal for Christmas gifts and donations for those affected by the SSI closure - for more details go towww.teesside-steel-appeal.org. If you would like to make a referral to the group for a Christmas gift, the deadline is Friday 27th November and the referral form is available on the website.
There is also other support available for people who have been made redundant who are not connected with SSI - please find details below if you need help yourself, or if members of the public contact us:
For council staff:
If you have worries in any of the following areas, please make contact with the following members of staff:
- Finance, benefits, bills and mortgage payments: Mike Oyston on 01642 444309 or Stuart Myers on 01642 444508.
- Health and wellbeing, including stress management and counselling: Jane Garnett on 01642 444524.
- If you would like to discuss the potential for increasing or reducing your hours with the council, flexible working or any other job and employment related issues: Louise Dinsdale on 01642 444522.
People affected by redundancy can be signposted to a number of support services. The following links contain useful contact numbers for everything from debt advice to setting up your own business: