Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ready for Work

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ready for Work

Article excerpt

Byline: KAREN McLAUCHLAN

"LET'S go get the future."

That was the message from the boss of Redcar's steel plant as the first of 1,000 new recruits started work with SSI yesterday.

The Thai steel company is set to re-start steel-making later this year with the re-igniting of the Redcar blast furnace on December 8. Before then though it must recruit and train hundreds of new staff.

And yesterday former bakers, printers and contractors joined experienced steel workers at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium as the first of many induction sections for new recruits got under way.

At yesterday's session the first 86 workers were told if the plant performed in the same way as prior to mothballing it would not survive.

But Phil Dryden, chief executive at SSI UK, said there had been huge excitement and willingness from all recruits to take the plant forward.

"We have to work faster, quicker and slicker than ever before," he said.

"We want people to come in with their eyes completely wide open.

"We're all signing up for the same values."

Among the first intake of SSI staff is Graham Dunn.

The 55-year-old from Eston was made redundant from his job as shift manager at the Redcar blast furnace at the former Teesside Cast Products plant earlier this year after 36 years in the industry.

He now has that very same job back.

"To see steel resurrected is fantastic news and I'm so happy to have my job back," said the married dad-of-one.

He said time had been tough since redundancy.

"It's been very difficult. We've got by, but it's been a worry.

"But I've now got a future in steel. This first day of induction has been fantastic."

A third of those in the first intake have worked for the steel plant before.

But others are brand new to steel.

New faces included 28-year-old Ben Elliott for whom a job at the Redcar plant is his first job near home in a decade. …

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