Valerie drawn at No 17 at BIS questions.

At BIS questions on 10 November 2015 I was drawn at Number 17. I was called during Topical questions.

Valerie Vaz (Walsall South) (Lab): “I was at Caparo Atlas Fastenings in my constituency talking to the administrators last Friday. I am sure that the whole House will send their condolences to the Paul family. Will the Minister say what specific steps can be taken to preserve those skilled jobs for the future, given that infrastructure projects are coming up in the West Midlands?”

Anna Soubry: “Of course we always listen to what the local enterprise partnerships are asking us to do, if they need any additional support. As the hon. Lady knows, in relation to steelworkers who have unfortunately been made redundant—notably at Redcar, but with more fears for Scunthorpe and Rotherham—we have put in substantial amounts of public money, specifically to ensure that those highly skilled workers get all the opportunities they need to retrain. The amount for Redcar is £16.5 million, and for Scunthorpe it will start at £3 million. We have already started to work with Rotherham and, if we get more bad news, money will be available for that area.”

I was disappointed that the Minister’s response did not address my question, which related specifically to the redundancies at Caparo in the West Midlands. I raised this issue because of the devastating impact of redundancies on employees and their families. The Minister’s response betrays a disregard for the significance of the steel industry in the West Midlands and the effect of redundancies on families locally.