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Support urged for older workers affected by steel plant job losses

21 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Blast Furnace located at the Port Talbot steelworks

Concerns have been raised about the future job prospects of older workers set to be affected by the shutdown of blast furnaces at the Port Talbot steel plant.

Tata has decided to press ahead with a shift to low carbon production at its site in Port Talbot, South Wales.

The move will lead to the loss of up to 2,800 jobs and more in firms which supply the plant with goods and services.

Tata is pledging a £130 million support package to help workers retrain or find new jobs.

Unions have warned the decision will be devastating for the South Wales economy as well as the steel industry.

The Centre for Ageing Better said older workers are much more likely to face long-term redundancy, and even enforced retirement, amid such heavy job losses.

The group, which offers help and advice to older people, said its research in similar industries in the West Midlands revealed specific support for older workers is needed to help them cope with the trauma of job loss, often after many years of service, and to help them find new work.

Older workers

Emily Andrews, deputy director for work at the group, said: “We know this is an industry with comparatively more older workers, and so a large proportion of the people facing redundancy will likely be over 50.

“Many will never have worked in a different organisation, let alone a different industry.

“The statistics tell us the struggle that workers over 50 face when made redundant. They are three times less likely to return to work within three months than those under 50.

“This is a huge waste of talent. Our own research and support work tells us that confidence-building, space to process the grief, high-quality group coaching, and straightforward CV support can make a huge difference in these circumstances.

“Older workers going through the trauma of redundancy, particularly after many years of loyal service, need space to process shock and grief as well as encouragement to look at their needs, aspirations and transferable skills.

“We welcome the commitment from Tata Steel of a comprehensive support package to mitigate the impact of any anticipated job losses, including helping employees to retrain and find new jobs.

“But these words will need to be backed up by action, and we hope that high-quality redundancy support will be made available, with specific support in place for older workers.

“Our work shows that a group coaching service for shop-floor workers over 50 can make a real difference to their ability to navigate the jobs market they will now be facing.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
30 days ago

Would the place be viable if Sunak was to bring in cheap labour from the sub-continent like they do in other industries…

Jeff
Jeff
30 days ago

This will not end well. Wait for the usual suspects to spout “free ports will save them”. Tata looks to milk the UK for everything then leave the UK. Conservatives will do what they did before. Three parts of sod all.

Don’t forget Johnson and Farage claimed staying in the EU would end steel making in the UK. Anyone in Wales going to vote Tory or Reform? This is the legacy to date. You will continue it voting for that bunch of muppets.

Last edited 30 days ago by Jeff
Jeff
Jeff
30 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Re EU. That is staying in the EU when they were campaigning for Brexit.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
30 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Sunak is sat on a three legged stool milking this country for all it is worth, the churns available on Mumbai market…

Daddy-in-law and Modi Ji what a good head boy am I?

Last edited 30 days ago by Mab Meirion
Jeff
Jeff
30 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

The bloke has an exit strategy. It will be interesting but no surprise where he goes after the GE.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
29 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Amazing to think that a person who proudly believes that a large portion of the population have no right to life should be allowed to decide on the fate of nation. I think the Tory Government is guilty of malfeasance in public office at the very least…

Last edited 29 days ago by Mab Meirion

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