Years back I worked on a project at British Steel, Ebbw Vale, Wales. At that time, British Steel employed over 200,000 people all over the UK and as the weeks went by it became clear that few people on site were from beyond the Valleys – a local factory for local people. Looking back, in terms of skills, jobs and training; this was the world we have lost.

What happens to the skills?

The Plant was laid out over 3 kilometres like a supply chain. Raw material came into the Pickler – an acid bath to sort out the molecules; moved on to Annealing and, the Temper Mills; then, the Roll Shop and out through the vast warehouses to clients such as Metal Box and the canning factories; on to the bottling plants to end up on a shelf as a can of Coke or whatever. Recycling was a long way off back then. (more…)