Corus hiring at Yorkshire steel plants that came back from the brink of closure
Tuesday 20 July 2010
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."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits record low as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...