Steel furnance

Trade unions are demanding that the government steps in to take drastic action to save the UK's steel industry from crisis.

The calls come after 1,700 jobs were lost when the SSI Redcar plant could not be saved.

At a crisis summit to be attended by unions, business leaders and ministers, the government will accept that the industry is facing a particularly difficult time but stress that there was is 'magic bullet' to solve its problems.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union, said the government should have done much more to save the Redcar plant.

He said: "There is a case for urgent, short-term action to help create a level-playing field for UK steel producers."

Tony Burke, assistant general secretary of the Unite union, said: "The steel industry is at crisis point.

"Unless the government pursues an industrial strategy with a 'steel heart' then sound-bites like 'Northern Powerhouse' and 'March of the Makers' will be nothing more than empty rhetoric for communities who rely on skilled jobs in steel and manufacturing."

Looking back some 40 years, the UK's steel industry employed over 200,000 people. Now, that figure is just 30,000.

In a statement ahead of the summit, Mr Javid said: "This is a hugely difficult time for the steel industry across the world - one of the toughest times ever.

"It is a worldwide problem, and while it will not be solved overnight, we will work closely in partnership with the industry to help find some answers.

"There is no magic bullet and we can't change the price of steel, but we can forensically work through all of the challenges we know the industry is facing to see what solutions there might be".