Many former SSI steel workers and their families are struggling financially, despite finding alternative employment, according to a new report.
The SSI Task Force, the organisation set up to help former steel workers in Redcar find employment, also highlights a number of successes as we approach the first anniversary of the plant's closure.
Around 3,000 people lost their jobs, both at the plant and in the supply chain.
The Task Force was handed £46m of government funding to provide support.
Some of this money went towards redundancy payments, and the rest was to be used to provide training support and other help.
The report notes that many families are continuing to struggle, even when the main breadwinner has found a new job, because the wages tend to be so much lower.
A key passage reads:
"Anecdotal reports suggest that many people who have found alternative employment have needed to take a significant salary reduction in comparison to former SSI wage levels...Many families have faced, and continue to be faced with, severe financial difficulties and have needed to access the Safety Net Fund to ensure daily household expenses and bills can be met."
The report does also stress more positive outcomes, such as the following:
- Around 9 in 10 (1,990) of the 2,150 SSI and other workers who made an initial claim for benefits have since ended that claim*
- Over 500 former SSI workers have not made any benefit claim to date
- 821 new jobs have been created through the SSI Fund
- 410 jobs have been safeguarded through the SSI Fund
- 50 former SSI Apprentices were found training or employment
- 418 people have been given initial individual advice as a first step to starting their own business and 172 new businesses have been started
- 15,510 training courses have been approved
- 2988 people received advice and support from Jobcentre Plus and Support Hub