A taskforce set up to address the threat to 260,000 Midland jobs from the steel crisis has called for Chinese steel imports to the EU Competition Commission.

The Midlands Steel Task Group (MSTG) , which hosted its inaugural meeting last week, called for immediate action to support steel producers and the supply chain in the region.

Experts claim more than a quarter of a million jobs in the West Midlands are threatened by the UK steel crisis, which has seen jobs axed at the Redcar steelworks on Teesside and Tata Steel in Scunthorpe.

Meanwhile, more than 1,700 jobs, largely in the West Midlands, remain under threat after the collapse of steel giant Caparo .

MPs from the West Midlands are expected to raise the issue in Parliament with a rising tide of concern about jobs in the region.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the taskforce called on the EU Commission and European partners to review competition measures, as well as quality and environmental standards, to combat the issue of Chinese steel flooding the market.

It also calls for an assessment of EU import tariff in light of those imposed by China and India on EU exports.

It also believes the Government should be working to ameliorate Midlands job losses and potential risks to the Midlands steel supply chain currently estimated at 260,000 jobs across 12,500 companies by the West Midlands Economic Forum.

“This could include more coordinated in-house training programmes, along the lines of the German ‘kurzarbeitergeld’ or the Welsh ProAct scheme – work sharing schemes aimed at safeguarding and enhancing specialized skills amongst existing workforces,” it states.