Tata Steel to axe 1,000 jobs in UK

Up to 1,000 jobs in the UK are expected to be cut by Tata Steel, the company has confirmed.

The firm, which has a steel-making plant in Port Talbot, south Wales, and employs 8,500 people across the UK said the job losses were "designed to safe its long-term future."

An estimated 1,600 job losses are also expected in the Netherlands and 350 elsewhere in the world.

The company previously said about two-third of the overall job cuts will be office-based.

The plant in Port Talbot, produces nearly five million tonnes of steel slab every year and is one of the largest steelworks in Europe.

One of its two blast furnaces was rebuilt in 2013 as part of a £250 million investment.

The site was threatened with closure in 2016 after being put up for sale.

It was later handed a reprieve when it was agreed to close the pension fund with the unions until 2022.

In September, Tata announced the proposed closure of Orb steel works – a major employer in Newport since 1898 – with the potential loss of 380 jobs.

Henrik Adam, chief executive of Tata Steel in Europe, said: "I'm very proud to see the dedication of everyone in this business, determined to succeed even in the face of a very tough market.

"I also understand and appreciate colleagues' concerns about these proposals. Change creates uncertainty, but we cannot afford to stand still as a company - the world around us is changing fast and we have to adapt.

Tata Steel employs around 6,500 people in Wales

Tata previously stated that would be no UK plant closures but concerns over job losses were raised by unions.

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the Community trade union, said they are "seriously concerned about the direction the company is taking".

“We have consistently called for a vision for the future, which includes plans for investment. Yet again that is lacking. We have been presented with short-term plans, which only create worry and uncertainty and do little to inspire confidence. It feels like the company is just managing decline and we need a significant change of direction that can inspire the workforce that they have a future."

The Welsh Government says they will work with the UK Government to safeguard jobs.

Economy Minister Ken Skates said he wants to work with the UK Government to safeguard jobs. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said:

“This will understandably be a worrying time for Tata Steel employees and their families in Wales. Tata Steel has previously confirmed that they intend to seek to avoid compulsory redundancies and I will be impressing on the company the importance of standing by this commitment.

“The Welsh Government has been a firm supporter of the steel industry. Today’s announcement is further proof the UK Government must take responsibility and treat the issues facing the industry with the importance and urgency they deserve. I will continue to raise with the UK Government the need to work together to safeguard the future of our steel industry and I wrote again to the Secretary of State for BEIS, Andrea Leadsom, on Monday, asking her to urgently reconvene the cancelled UK steel roundtable meeting.”