Corus hiring at Yorkshire steel plants that came back from the brink of closure

Corus is hiring 154 new staff at its two Speciality Steel factories in Yorkshire, barely a year after the Stocksbridge and Rotherham plants faced closure.

The Speciality Steel division – which supplies advanced metals to high-end industries such as aerospace and oil and gas – saw sales plummet by an eye-watering 75 per cent during the worst of the recent recession.

The collapse in orders, exaggerated by savage de-stocking, helped drag Corus's overall sales down by 40 per cent and left the group with monthly losses of more than £100m.

Only a painful restructuring programme, including around 1,000 redundancies, kept the business open.

Now, although the economic recovery in the Corus's major UK and European markets remains fragile, demand is recovering faster in the high-end aerospace and automotive markets, coupled with a greater demand for specialist steels in emerging markets. And the once-tottering Speciality Steel division needs 133 experienced workers, plus another 14 apprentices and seven graduates to help it meet the rising demand.

Corus chief executive Kirby Adams says the decision to keep Stocksbridge and Rotherham open was helped by his previous experience in the titanium industry, which sells into the same advanced markets and also uses the same vacuum arc re-melt process as the Yorkshire steel plants.

"When people were suggesting the business should be mothballed I took a contrarian view that this is the kind of fantastic, high-tech manufacturing capability we really need more of ," Mr Adams said. "Having given licence to the management and the employees, they more than held up their side of the bargain – this success is all theirs."

Mr Adams has faced sharp criticism for the company's mothballing of the Teesside Cast Products (TCP) plant in February, at a cost of around 1,000 jobs. But he is keen to stress both that the closure was unavoidable, following the collapse of an off-take agreement with an international consortium of buyers, and that the company is still "hard at it" trying to find a buyer so the plant can be re-opened.

"It has always been the objective that Teesside would be re-started and we will again be making steel there," he said.

Notwithstanding the termination of talks with a local consortium earlier this month, Mr Adams says there are ongoing talks at an "advanced" stage with "a handful" of companies.

"We are actively engaged in a number of conversations and I am very hopeful we will have some good news," he said. "We have had a number of visits to the facility from interested parties and at this point it is down to whether there is sufficient interest on their part to proceed to be a part of Teesside's future."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most