Caparo slashing 452 jobs, latest blow to the UK steel industry

Caparo Industries is slashing 452 jobs across the UK in the latest blow to the country’s crippling steel industry.

Administrators PwC said that there will be 300 job losses at plants in the West Midlands, with other cuts at sites in Hartlepool, Wrexham and Tredegar.

In addition, Caparo Industries, which entered administration on 19 October, is set to close five of its sites.

PwC said: “Following a detailed review of the businesses it is with regret that we now announce 452 redundancies with immediate effect.”

PwC added that it plans to stabilise Caparo by exploring opportunities that could help save the business.

However, the administrator stressed that certain parts of the company were no longer viable.

The affected locations and related redundancies are as follows:

  • Darlaston – 122
  • Hartlepool – 79
  • Oldbury – 68
  • Dudley – 64
  • West Bromwich – 59
  • Tredegar – 17
  • Wrexham -12
  • Cradley Heath – 10
  • Other – 21

Source: PwC

Anna Soubry, the minister for enterprise and industry, said: “This will be a very upsetting time for the hundreds of Caparo workers and their families affected by today’s announcement.”

Joe Morgan, GMB Birmingham & West Midlands regional secretary, commented on the news: “It is greatly disappointing that the receivers have felt the need to let people go.

“We understand the reason for this is that the employees on the loss-making parts of the business are no longer needed.

“We are still of the opinion that Caparo can be saved. The GMB will continue its campaign to safeguard the steel industry in the West Midlands and nationally, and will provide legal support and assistance where possible.”

Unite West Midlands regional secretary Gerard Coyne said: “The closure of the Darlaston factory is another grim day for the manufacturing community in the Wolverhampton area. Following on from the news of Goodyear’s planned closure, it brings down the shutters on 100 years of world class manufacturing and is a further blow to the region’s skills base.

“We will be doing everything in our power to support our members who are affected and will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that they aren’t left high and dry. Unite will also be working closely with the administrators to secure the futures of our members at the remaining Caparo sites.

“Today’s news once more underlines the desperate need for the Government to adopt an active industrial strategy that supports manufacturing and steelmaking.”

Yet another blow to the UK steel industry

Thousands of people in the UK steel sector have lost their jobs in recent weeks as the industry struggles to cope with the plunging price of steel, a strong pound, high energy costs, and cheap imports (particularly from China).

The closure of the Redcar steel plant on Teesside resulted in a loss of 2,200 jobs and Tata Steel announced earlier this month that it was cutting 1,200 jobs.