Earlier this year, Indian-owned Tata Steel announced its intention to sell large parts of its UK operations, putting many jobs at risk, including those of 600 people at its Black Country sites in Walsall and Wednesfield.
However, the future is looking more secure after the company gave Liberty House exclusive negotiation rights over the potential sale of its assets, and has now reached an agreement with trade unions on a number of proposals aimed at making Tata Steel UK a more sustainable business.
The agreed measures include consultation with employees on moving from the British Steel Pension Scheme to a competitive defined contribution scheme, continuing to run the company’s Port Talbot blast furnace until 2021 and continuing to invest in staff development.
The global steel industry is currently experiencing a number of challenges, such as slow manufacturing growth, economic uncertainty and currency volatility. However, it is hoped that Tata Steel UK’s agreed transformation plan will help secure jobs and protect employees against possible future changes by keeping their skills up to date.
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