Further support for former Redcar SSI workers

SSI UK steel blast furnace site, Redcar Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The site closed after its Thai-based owner SSI went into liquidation and no buyer could be found

A further support package has been launched to help former Teesside steelworkers back into employment.

About 2,200 jobs were lost in October when Redcar's SSI Steelworks closed.

SSI Task Force is offering employers taking on former workers a two-year subsidy of £15,000 for those over 45, and £11,000 for younger people.

A new drop-in centre in Middlesbrough offers "more personalised support" on finding employment, training opportunities, health and wellbeing.

Joanne Curtis, a co-ordinator at the centre, said it was hoping to encourage people who hadn't previously come forward after the closure.

"My role is to co-ordinate and possibly signpost people to the support they might need at a particular time", she said.

"It can be to do with funding, training, financial or personal support, or what steps they are taking on getting back to work."

Amanda Skelton, task force chairwoman and chief executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: "More than half of those seeking work are aged over 45, and that's why we've introduced an extra incentive to employers to recruit people from that age group."

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