NEW steelworks owner Liberty House has begun began hiring its first new staff this week.
The firm bought Tata’s speciality steels business for £100 million in May and announced 300 extra jobs and £20 million investment.
Work on bringing in the first 40 staff — adding to the 618 already at the Thrybergh site — began yesterday (12) with the firm working closely with trade unions.
Most of the new steelworkers will be assigned to the bar mill, where the number of shifts will be doubled to take annual production from 78,000 tonnes to 137,000 tonnes.
Liberty Speciality Steels chief executive Jon Bolton said: “We have big ambitions for the future so we’re eager to start the process of getting new people on board to help us move ahead with our plans.
“We’re looking for recruits from a broad range of backgrounds, especially adaptable people from the locality with a positive attitude and a hunger to learn about steel.
“We’ve got many highly-talented and experienced people on the team here who will train newcomers for key roles in an exciting industry entering a promising new era.”
Liberty’s takeover safeguarded 1,700 jobs threatened when Tata announced last year that it would withdraw from the UK steel market.
Some of the first batch of new recruits will work at one of the two electric arc furnaces at Thrybergh, while others will be based at the mill and finishing lines in Stocksbridge.
Chris Williamson, Rotherham’s Community union branch secretary, said: “The place has lifted a bit, but people understand that you can’t just jump straight back to full capacity. You have to secure the markets again first.”