A STEELWORKER among 700 made redundant from Tata has spoken of his joy at landing a new job under a special retraining scheme.
Graham Makepeace (54), pictured, took on a multi-skill training course covering plastering, plumbing and joinery after losing his job last year.
Now he has landed a full-time job with Barratts and David Wilson Homes, saying the Taskforce Resource Centre training support had been invaluable.
He said: “It was without doubt really hard leaving Tata and not being sure what my options were. The staff at the resource centre were great though and were very supportive. Without this training I would have been in a more difficult position.
“What I would say to anyone else in my position is that it’s difficult taking those steps, but it’s definitely worth persevering with.”
About 700 Tata workers at Rotherham and Stocksbridge lost their jobs in Tata’s cost-cutting changes.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills provided funding to help those affected, with extra cash from UK Steel Enterprise.
More than 500 people attended two job fairs to meet 35 recruitment organisations plus the Taskforce Resource Centre.
One-to-one support was offered to help prepare CVs and access training funding.
Rotherham Borough Council leader Cllr Chris Read said: “We appreciate this has been a very difficult time for workers, their families, and supply businesses.
“The partners have been making every effort to help those affected by helping people find alternative jobs, access training, or simply highlighting new opportunities.”
Former Tata employees wanting help and advice can phone Sarah Stanley on 01709 254564.