British Steel prepares to axe up to 2,000 jobs in cost-cut move

British Steel is reportedly preparing to slash up to 2,000 jobs amid an operational shake-up.

Jingye, its Chinese owner, has sounded out consultants to oversee a cost-cutting programme, according to the Sunday Times.

However, no decisions have been taken about job losses, sources told the newspaper.

It comes as the Mail on Sunday revealed that Scunthorpe-based British Steel, which employs around 4,500, is losing between £20m and £30m a month.

Question marks have hung over the company’s finances for months and accounts due last year have still not been released. British Steel collapsed in 2019 before being rescued by Jingye in March 2020.

Struggle: British Steel collapsed in 2019 before being rescued by Jingye in March 2020

The UK steel industry employs more than 30,000. It faces stiff competition from cheaper imports, particularly from China. British Steel and Indian-owned Tata Steel are the last two companies in Britain making the material using traditional blast furnaces.

Both are now engaged in the costly process of trying to switch to more environmentally friendly electric-arc furnaces.

Last month Tata secured a £500m support package from the Government as well as new investment from owner Tata – but will see up to 3,000 jobs go.

A British Steel spokesman said: ‘As part of our journey to net zero, it is prudent to evaluate different operational scenarios to help achieve goals and we continue to assess our options.’