Funding packages worth £7.3m have been secured by the SSI Task Force to support people who have lost their jobs as a result of the closure of SSI’s Redcar plant.
As part of the £80m Government support fund, money is immediately available for:
• A £1.7m package to enable the former SSI apprentices to complete their training.
• Up to £3m for retraining through Redcar and Cleveland, Middlesbrough, Stockton Riverside and Hartlepool colleges.
• A Flexible Support Fund worth £2.6m for further training, including longer-term courses.
Business Minister Anna Soubry said: “These funding packages are important support for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the closure of SSI.
“We want to see people back in jobs as quickly as possible using this funding for training and ensuring apprentices can continue to learn a trade.
“We will continue to work closely with the local taskforce to target help and support to the area.”
A £1.7m fund has been created to encourage employers to take on one or more of the 50 ex-SSI Apprentices. Employers will be given the full salary and training costs to cover the remainder of the Apprenticeship and access to support from an Apprenticeship Training Agency.
The £3m retraining package means education and training at four colleges in the Tees Valley will be fully funded for workers employed at the SSI UK plant in Redcar at any time during 2015.
The fund will also support people made redundant in the supply chain as a result of the SSI closure.
The Flexible Support Fund will see a further £2.6m invested in a range of courses, available through other training providers, and address any barriers individuals have to securing new jobs or training provision.
Chair of the SSI Task Force, Redcar & Cleveland Council chief executive Amanda Skelton, said: “The Task Force wanted to make sure that all 50 apprentices could continue with their training with new employers.
“This funding will allow us to make this happen which will be a huge relief to the young people and their families.
“We have a number of employers who have already offered placements and we would like to thank them for their support.
“To support the wider workforce we now have the resource in place to fund training at our local colleges and further afield. We know many workers are already highly skilled but this will give them the extra support they will need to secure alternative employment.”
Eligibility for the retraining fund or the Flexible Support Fund, and appropriateness of qualification to future career, must be confirmed by a referral from a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) work coach or National Careers Service adviser working with affected individuals.
People can call 0191 382 1003 between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday to book an appointment.
Apprentices will be contacted directly by their training agency about potential placements.