Tata Steel jobs cut announcement Sheffield Chamber comment

17th July 2015

Commenting on the announcement that Tata Steel plans to cut 720 jobs, Richard Wright, Executive Director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said: -This announcement really underlines the message we have been giving over a number of years.

The lack of an international level playing field on things like energy cost combined with the varying strength of the pound - which currently doesn't suit exporters - clearly shows it is difficult to compete in an international world purely on price. -This country must compete on technology and knowledge. We do great things in research and development, but we still have a long way to go on the necessary skills to resource that type of economy. -Too many of our young people come out of schools with little or no skills and only suitable for unskilled occupations. Some of the people that pursue academic routes should probably have gone down a vocational route so I hope the improvements in apprenticeships and the academic apprenticeships will help that. We have to understand that not doing a degree is not necessarily a bad thing. In Germany they value the vocational routes. -I would not want this announcement to portray a message that manufacturing is not important anymore and we can no longer be a manufacturing nation - that is rubbish. It's about what we manufacture, what we can sell abroad, and what we can create wealth from.

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