Task Force Fund helps nearly 150 former steel workers find alternative employment

Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 23rd March 2016

An SSI Task Force job creation scheme has so far secured alternative employment for nearly 150 former steel workers.
Keith Parry, from Middlesbrough, a former planning engineer in the power station at SSI UK, is the latest individual to have secured work thanks to the £16.5million SSI Task Force Jobs and Skills Fund

The 55-year-old has joined Ventilation Hygiene Specialists, which provides ventilation hygiene, fire safety and air flow testing services, as a Maintenance Technician.

The SSI Task Force Jobs and Skills Fund subsidises the cost of employment for each new job created with a payment of 50% of the basic salary costs for the first two years, up to a maximum of £11,000 per employee. All new jobs have to be sustainable for a minimum period of three years.

Since its launch the Fund has helped 142 former SSI workers find alternative jobs in a wide range of roles including engineers, IT specialists, welders/platers, project managers, heavy and light goods vehicle and fork lift truck drivers, and office-based positions.

Even if you have already recruited an individual affected by the SSI closure it’s not too late to apply for funding.

Martin Holliday, Director of Ventilation Hygiene Specialists, which is based in Thornaby, said: “Former SSI UK employees have lots of transferable skills and are very employable.

“Keith has extensive knowledge and experience and a great attitude to work and already is proving to be a great asset to the company.”

Martin added: “My experience of the Jobs and Skills Fund has been very positive. The application process is very simple with a dedicated team to help you throughout and I would certainly recommend it to other companies.”

Keith’s recruitment has allowed Martin to concentrate more on the strategic direction of the business including the generation of new leads.

Keith said: “I am pleased that I have been able to transfer so quickly and so smoothly to a new job thanks to the support of the Task Force.

“I am relishing putting my 37 years’ experience to good use by playing a role in the growth and development ofVentilation Hygiene Specialists.”

Paul Booth, Tees Valley Unlimited Chairman, said: “It is pleasing to see this easy-to-access fund is having such a positive influence on helping people, who lost their jobs in the wake of SSI’s closure, find alternative work.

“The Task Force’s focus is on providing strategically targeted support, such as the Jobs and Skills Fund, which can deliver tangible results.”

Amanda Skelton, Chair of the SSI Task Force and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “The Task Force’s commitment to getting money and support through to individuals and communities as soon as possible is making a difference.

“We would urge any companies that are interested to get in touch to find out if they are eligible for financial assistance or support through the range of Task Force initiatives.

“There is a pool of talented workers ready to take on new opportunities with Tees Valley companies and this Task Force funding is proving to be an effective way of helping firms recruit former SSI workers so their skills and expertise are not lost to the local economy.”

To find out more about the SSI Jobs and Skills Fund and how to apply, company owners can call 01642 524412.

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