Liberty House Group have started recruitment for the newly reopened Dalzell and Clydebridge steel plants in Lanarkshire, which the international metals and industrial firm acquired from Tata Steel in April 2016.
The agreement to save the two Lanarkshire plants was struck on March 24th and completed in late April. The deal was made possible by the Scottish Government who worked closely with Liberty and other stakeholders to help facilitate the deal.
Liberty hope to re-employ some ex-Tata employees who lost their jobs when the plate plants were mothballed in October 2015 but applications are also being encouraged from those looking to join the steel industry for the first time. This first recruitment phase aims to fill up to one hundred positions, with the number growing in the new year. The company will spend the summer months recruiting for a wide range of roles, including production, finance, health and safety and administrative positions.
The new management team are working to restart production in mid-September. Once production is re-established, the plants will provide steel plate to industries including ship building, heavy vehicle manufacture, renewable energy, construction and civil engineering, among others.
Liberty will be introducing a range of apprenticeship opportunities, including Modern Apprenticeships in Engineering, Finance and Commercial Planning, a Foundation Apprenticeship and a Graduate Apprenticeship.
The company are working in collaboration with the local Job Centre Plus to manage new applications and offer their support to local businesses that are suffering from the downturn in the oil and gas sectors in the region.
Liberty is also working closely with Scottish Enterprise, who has a long standing relationship with the steel plants.
Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “I am delighted to see these plans for recruitment and the resumption of steel production at Dalzell and Clydebridge, following the concerted efforts of the task force involving unions, local authorities and the Scottish Government. It is testament to the hard work of everyone involved and fantastic news for both the local communities and Scotland’s steel industry.
“It’s particularly encouraging to see Liberty opening up new apprenticeship opportunities and investing in future workers. Apprenticeships offer our young people better career prospects and have a positive impact on the businesses and industry, bringing value to both employers and the economy.”
Adrian Gillespie, Managing Director of Growth Companies, Innovation & Infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scottish Enterprise has worked with Liberty and partners across Scotland to find a positive outcome for the two plants. It is wonderful to see the new operation now building up their team, and we look forward to working closely with Liberty to support the development of their business in Scotland.”
To consolidate the acquisition of the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants and ensure the future success of Liberty’s plate division, in April Liberty announced that it had appointed Jon Bolton, one of the most prominent figures in the UK steel industry, as chief executive of its new plate division, encompassing Dalzell and Clydebridge, he was also appointed as a member of the Liberty Steel UK management team.
Speaking about the new recruitment drive at Dalzell and Clydebridge, Mr Bolton said: “This moment marks a significant milestone in the process of bringing the steel business in Scotland back to life. It is a just reward for the dedication of the skilled workers who had to leave the business and it also presents an opportunity for new employees to join the Liberty family.”
Liberty House has a growing track record for rescuing and rebuilding major steel enterprises. Over the past six months the firm has saved more than 1,500 jobs at steel plants in Wales and the West Midlands, and it is now looking to re-establish the Scottish plate operations with a new business model, gradually restoring the jobs lost over recent months.
Liberty has a GREEN STEEL vision for the UK, using renewable energy to melt the readily available supply of scrap in Britain. It represents a much needed change for the steel industry in the UK enabling it to be more competitive, flexible and sustainable.
Dalzell and Clydebridge plants are part of that vision. Liberty will create an end-to-end process that starts with the melting of UK recovered scrap steel and continues through the manufacture and distribution of high-quality downstream steel products such as plate from the Scottish steel plants.