Tata Steel announces 720 job cuts

16 July 2015

Tata Steel has announced it will shed 720 jobs in its UK business, because of rising costs and a strong pound.

Most of the jobs will go from its steel bar-making plant in Rotherham in the north of England.

In a statement, it said its steel bars business had been "underperforming" and unable to be as competitive as its European counterparts.

It also said it planned to "refocus" on "high-value" markets, such as the aerospace industry.

The firm said it would be working closely with those at risk of losing their jobs, as well as trade unions, to redeploy people and minimise compulsory redundancies.

"Energy is one of our largest costs at our speciality and bar business and we are disadvantaged by the UK's cripplingly high electricity costs," said Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel's European operations.

"And while the UK government announced helpful measures to reduce the impact of its high energy taxes a few years ago, these measures still haven't been introduced.

"We want to play our role in reinvigorating the UK's manufacturing industry, but increasing imports and high energy costs have further undermined the competitiveness of foundations industries."

The group's managing director, Mark Broxholme, added that "economic circumstances continue to undermine the work Tata Steel has done", but that refocusing on the high-value aerospace market had been planned since 2009.

Tata Steel employs about 80,000 people globally.