London: Indian-origin businessman Sanjeev Gupta on Thursday announced a recruitment drive to fill up to 100 positions at two steel plants in Scotland he had acquired from Tata Steel this year, with subsequently increasing the number.
Gupta's Liberty House Group started recruitment for the newly reopened Dalzell and Clydebridge steel plants in Lanarkshire, which the international metals and industrial firm acquired from Tata Steel back in April.
While Liberty hopes to re-employ some former Tata employees who lost their jobs when the plate plants were mothballed in October 2015, applications are also being encouraged from those looking to join the steel industry for the first time.
Liberty also plans to introduce a range of apprenticeship opportunities, including Modern Apprenticeships in Engineering, Finance and Commercial Planning, a Foundation Apprenticeship and a Graduate Apprenticeship.
Scotland's economy secretary, Keith Brown, said: "I am delighted to see these plans for recruitment and the resumption of steel production at Dalzell and Clydebridge, following the concerted efforts of the task force involving unions, local authorities and the Scottish Government. It is testament to the hard work of everyone involved and fantastic news for both the local communities and Scotland's steel industry.
"It's particularly encouraging to see Liberty opening up new apprenticeship opportunities and investing in future workers. Apprenticeships offer our young people better career prospects and have a positive impact on the businesses and industry, bringing value to both employers and the economy."
In its first recruitment phase, the firm aims to fill up to 100 positions, with the number growing next year.
The company will spend the next few months recruiting for a wide range of roles, including production, finance, health and safety and administrative positions.
"This moment marks a significant milestone in the process of bringing the steel business in Scotland back to life. It is a just reward for the dedication of the skilled workers who had to leave the business and it also presents an opportunity for new employees to join the Liberty family," said Jon Bolton, chief executive of the plate division at Dalzell and Clydebridge plants.
The agreement to save the two Lanarkshire plants was struck in March and completed in late April.
The plants fall within Mr Gupta's GreenSteel vision for the UK, using renewable energy to melt the readily available supply of scrap in Britain. It represents a much needed change for the steel industry in the UK enabling it to be more competitive, flexible and sustainable.
Liberty plans to create an end-to-end process that starts with the melting of UK recovered scrap steel and continues through the manufacture and distribution of high-quality downstream steel products such as plate from the Scottish steel plants.