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Minister steps up Welsh Government efforts to support steel industry

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Economy Minister Edwina Hart today visited more steel plants in south Wales as part of a series of fact-finding trips to see what further support the Welsh Government could offer to try to avert a crisis facing the steel industry in Wales.
Tuesday 01 December 2015

The visits follow last month’s meeting with representatives of the steel companies in Wales and unions to discuss how to improve the competiveness and productivity of the industry.

At that meeting a two-stage approach was agreed with immediate actions to stem the worst effects of the crisis, together with the development of a clear industrial policy at a UK level. The Welsh Government is already engaged in various work stream groups with the UK Government to identify and explore potential solutions to address the challenges currently facing the industry at a UK level.

Welsh Government officials were also present at last month’s meeting of the EU’s Competitiveness Council to discuss the European steel industry and a meeting was held recently to explore any opportunities to upgrade and modernise the steel sector through use of the European Investment Advisory Hub and the European Fund for Strategic Investments.

In terms of immediate actions, the Welsh Government is considering how procurement and business rates can be used to support the industry in Wales.

Mrs Hart said:

“The steel industry in Wales is facing unprecedented pressure and we must act now in order to secure its future, which is vital to our future economic prosperity. The Welsh Government has repeatedly called on the UK Government to curb energy prices that are seriously disadvantaging the industry and to do more to tackle cheap imports.

“We are looking at what immediate actions we can take to support the industry in terms of business rates, procurement, training and development opportunities. I have also set-up an industry-led Task Group to gather examples of good procurement practices and to identify support other EU countries have provided to their steel industries.

“Today’s visits are an opportunity for me to listen to the concerns of the industry and discuss what we can to do to prevent more job losses in the Welsh steel industry. We will continue to work with the UK Government, the industry and unions to find solutions.”

The Minister visited a number of plants in south Wales including Trostre Works in Llanelli and Afon Tinplate in Swansea. Next week the Minister will visit Shotton steel works in North Wales.

 

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Business and economy 01 December 2015 Economy North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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