Scotland's steel industry had new life breathed into it once again last night as a major drive to fill 100 new jobs at metalworks in Lanarkshire got under way.

Liberty House Group, the commodities specialists who took over the ailing Clydebridge and Dalzell plants from Tata Steel in April, unveiled a “first phase” of new recruitment.

The group, which has been working with the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, will seek to re-employ at least some of those who lost their jobs when the works were mothballed last October.

But they insisted they hoped to offer opportunities to a new generation of steel workers by also hiring first-time applicants, in a bid to reinvigorate the industry.

A new range of apprenticeships are being created ranging from Modern Apprenticeships in Engineering, Finance and Commercial Planning, to Foundation Apprenticeships and Graduate Apprenticeships.

The new management team in place says it is working to restart production as soon as mid-September.

Once back up and running, the company will provide steel plate to industries including shipbuilding, heavy vehicle manufacture, renewable energy, construction and civil engineering.

John Bolton, chief executive of the plate division, said: “This moment marks a significant milestone in the process of bringing the steel business in Scotland back to life.

“It is a just reward for the dedication of the skilled workers who had to leave the business and it also presents an opportunity for new employees to join the Liberty family.”

It comes after public support from the Scottish Government, who worked with Liberty and other stakeholders to ensure the transformation could happen.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “I am delighted to see these plans for recruitment and the resumption of steel production at Dalzell and Clydebridge, following the concerted efforts of the task force involving unions, local authorities and the government.

“It is testament to the hard work of everyone involved and fantastic news for both the local communities and Scotland’s steel industry.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see Liberty opening up new apprenticeship opportunities and investing in future workers. Apprenticeships offer our young people better career prospects and have a positive impact on the businesses and industry, bringing value to both employers and the economy.”

Adrian Gillespie, managing director of growth companies, innovation and infrastructure at Scottish Enterprise, said he was pleased to see a “positive outcome”.

He added: “It is wonderful to see the new operation now building up their team, and we look forward to working closely with Liberty to support the development of their business in Scotland.”

After the initial recruitment is complete, a second phase of hiring could follow in the New Year, bosses said, as it looks to utilise a green steel policy – using renewable energy to melt the readily available supply of scrap in Britain.

The company said it hopes to work towards bringing the staff numbers to the same levels they were before last year’s closures. Some 270 jobs were lost in Scotland in October, among 1,200 across the UK.

The latest announcement makes good on a promise that Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty Group, made in March.

He said then: “We must turn our attention to restoring these businesses to their former glory, steadily rebuilding their skilled workforces and customer base.

“Clydebridge and Dalzell will fit well into our vision for an integrated, flexible and sustainable steel sector, from recycled local scrap using renewable energy-making green steel, to value-added downstream and engineered products.”