Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Restructured Corus steel firm looks to recruit over 150 staff

Corus is hiring 154 new staff at its two Speciality Steel factories in Yorkshire, barely a year after the Stocksbridge and Rotherham plants faced closure.

The steel giant's Speciality Steel division - which supplies advanced metals to high-end industries such as aerospace and oil and gas - saw sales plummet by an eye-watering 75% during the worst of the recession.

The collapse in orders, exaggerated by savage de-stocking, dragged Corus's overall sales down by 40%, and left the group with monthly losses of over £100m. Only a painful restructuring involving 1,000 redundancies kept the business open.

Now, although the economic recovery in Corus's major UK and European markets remains fragile, demand is recovering faster in the high-end aerospace and automotive markets, coupled with a greater demand for specialist steel in emerging markets.

And the once-tottering Speciality Steel division needs 133 experienced workers, plus 14 apprentices and seven graduates, to help meet the rising demand.

Corus boss Kirby Adams says the decision to keep Stocksbridge and Rotherham open was helped by his experience in the titanium industry, which sells into the same markets and uses the same processes as the Yorkshire steel plants.

"When people were suggesting the business should be mothballed, I took a contrarian view that this is the kind of high-tech manufacturing capability we need more of," said Mr Adams.

Corus has an operation in Lisburn.

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