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18 January 2018, 06:00
More than 1,800 local jobs have been created following the closure of the SSI steelworks in Redcar, according to a new report.
The SSI Task Force Legacy Report also reveals almost all workers in the town, initially claiming benefits after the plant closed in 2015, are now fully supporting themselves.
Redcar's famous steelworks employed almost 3,000 people, all of which were made redundant following the closure.
Other findings in today's report include:
" 2167 of the 2,185 SSI and other workers who made an initial claim for benefits have since ended that claim
" 420 jobs have been safeguarded
" 51 former SSI Apprentices have been found training or employment
" Nearly 320 new businesses have been started
" Over £9m has been invested into over 23,000 training courses
" Nearly 3000 people received advice and support from Jobcentre Plus and Support Hub
Amanda Skelton, Chair of the SSI Task Force and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said:
"In the two years since the devastating closure of SSI the work of the Task Force has continued to help people move back into work, train for new careers and start new businesses."
"We are standing on the brink of a new era for the Tees Valley economy as we work toward the delivery of 20,000 new jobs through the South Tees Development Corporation Masterplan."
"We do not underestimate that there is still much to be done to help people survive and thrive following redundancy and prepare for new opportunities ahead."
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:
"The SSI Task Force has provided an invaluable lifeline for those who sadly lost their jobs as a result of Redcar's SSI site closure."
"Thanks to the task force's hard work, those affected have had access to a wealth of practical advice, support and funding to help them through this difficult time."
"It's testament to the dedication of the team that many personal good news stories have begun to emerge over the past two years."