Young people can see 'no future' at Tata after job cuts announcement

  • Engineering students shared their reaction to Tata's announcement on Friday

Young people in Port Talbot are worried about their futures after Tata Steel's decision to cut thousands of jobs at the plant.

"There is no future for me there" if Tata goes ahead with job losses, said Chris Bamsui, a mechanical engineering student.

On Friday, 19 January, Tata Steel confirmed plans to close both blast furnaces at its biggest UK plant, putting 2,800 jobs at risk.

Chris, 18, whose father works at the plant, said, "I don't know where the future is for me and my family."

Tata says it has committed to investing millions into protecting the futures of steelworkers in Port Talbot, but there are fears the package of measures doesn't go far enough.

Steelmaking in Port Talbot is often a family affair, with numerous generations working at the Tata works.

Many young people in the town have aspirations to become steelworkers, but they are now worried there won't be jobs for them.

Chris Bamsui told ITV Wales he had hoped to get an apprenticeship or full-time job at the Port Talbot Steelworks after he leaves NPTC College, near Neath.

However, he says the chances of working with his father at the Tata plant are now over. The news is a "big blow", he said.

"Obviously Tata is the main part of Port Talbot - the main jobs and where the money is. So it was a big shock that it is going to shut down and that there is nothing we can do about it.

He added: "It's a big blow for other people on the course, especially the Tata course."

Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Most of the cuts announced will be at the Port Talbot plant, with 2,500 job losses expected in the next 18 months.

The fear of job losses has rippled through the community. Chris told ITV Wales that he fears for his family's future and for his own: "We don't we where we are going to go.

"I don't know where the future is for me and my family."

He added: "Tata is the main goal, I would like to get an apprenticeship there but if there is no jobs there for me, there is no future here".

As part of the plan, the Indian conglomerate has promised a £130 million "support package for affected employees", which it says will include redundancy payments and skills training.

However, it has not yet been indicated when the support will become available.

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