Thousands of firms at risk from steel crisis

Steel industry - Tata steel became the latest UK steel firm to announce job losses - SantanderCB

After Tata Steel became the latest UK steel firm to announce job losses, with 1,200 people to be put out of work at the company, chief executive Karl Koehler warned that the devastation being wrought against the industry by cheap Chinese imports and a strong pound will have a significant impact on the wider economy. He called for a fairer system to encourage growth. The steel crisis has sent shockwaves through the manufacturing sector, with companies such as carmakers that rely on steel or service the industry coming under pressure. Data from the Midlands region's Economic Forum shows that 12,500 companies employing 260,000 staff are either solely or partly dependent on steel, the majority of which are small businesses with two or three major contracts. The Midlands provides a quarter of all the UK's manufacturing, a large part of which comes in the automotive sector. Prof David Bailey, an automotive industry expert at Aston University, said: 'If the steel industry in the UK continues to shrink, then it will have a knock-on effect on jobs in the auto sector in the long term.'


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