HUNDREDS of redundant steelworkers were in Redcar as they searched for work at a specially organised jobs fair.

The fair, organised by the SSI Task Force, took place at the Redcar Leisure and Community Heart from 10am to 4pm on Wednesday.

The initiative comes after the Redcar steelworks was placed into liquidation and more than 2,000 people lost their jobs.

It is part of a raft of measures proposed by the task force as it considers how best to spend up to £80m of aid money promised by the Government.

More than 30 different employers are expected to take part to showcase more than 1,000 available job vacancies, ranging from engineering to the Army and the North East Adoption Service to a driving school.

Sue Soroczan, district manager of Durham and Tees Valley Jobcentre Plus, said: "The people coming here today are highly motivates and want to work.

"Today is not necessarily about getting them a job the same as they had or that they would want, it is about showing them that there is work available and that they do have the required skills to work in different industries."

Ian Leitch, a mechanical engineer who worked at the plant for 17 years, said: "Since they day I learnt I was losing my job I have been looking for work, I have been handing my CV and speaking to companies all over Teesside but there is no work out there in what I do. I have come here to see what else is available but there is nothing that is similar to what I'm trained to do."

Bob Johnson, of Saltburn, was trained in IT but believes that the industry has moved on so quick since he completed his course four years ago.

The 40-year-old said: "I would love to work in IT but I'm not sure whether I have the skill set to do it. Everyone has been really helpful here but I'm not sure if there is any work available for me."

Mike Gilbert, of Middleton St George, near Darlington, said the jobs fair was useful, but was concerned that some of the larger companies were not there.

He said: "I'm a bit disappointed that major companies like Tesco, Asda and Morrisons aren't here, but at least something is happening.

"I have had to travel more than 20 miles to get here so it would be helpful if there was job fairs and training opportunities for the workers who live out of the Redcar area."

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