FUTURE stars of steel had a chance to meet the Prince of Wales as he restarted a recycling furnace at a Rotherham plant.
Members of the Industrial Cadets — an organisation set up after the Prince visited a Tata plant in 2011 — were at the switch-on ceremony last Friday.
The youngsters, all students at Rotherham College, are working with Liberty Speciality Steels to eliminate weeds near an industrial railway.
Phillip Barber (16), of Doncaster Road in Thrybergh, is studying a BTEC in engineering.
He said: “I’ll probably never do something like this again, so it’s been good.
Matin Shah (20), of St Ann’s Road in Eastwood, is Phillip’s colleague on the course.
He said he was "honoured and very privileged" to meet the prince.
Spencer Mallender (17), of Bessacar in Doncaster, is also studying a BTEC in engineering.
He said: “My dad was an engineer here and so was his granddad, so I’m kind of following in their footsteps.”
Rotherham Borough Council’s Labour Group called the restarting of the furnace the start of a “steel industry revival”, reflecting “the strength of steel-making here in Rotherham”.
Cllr Chris Read, council leader, called the development "really positive news" for the town.
Cllr Stuart Sansome, Labour councillor in Swinton ward and a steelworker for 40 years, called it "a great moment" for steelworkers.