The Welsh Government has become the first signatory of the UK Steel Charter, Economy Minister Ken Skates has announced today.
The Charter, which has been put together by UK Steel, aims to boost the levels of Welsh and UK produced steel used in UK construction and infrastructure projects by asking organisations to sign up and commit to a range of procurement steps. It was signed by Ken Skates on behalf of the Welsh Government during a meeting with representatives of the steel industry at Tata Steel’s Shotton works today.
As part of its commitment to the UK Steel Charter the Welsh Government has committed to:
- Require the origin of all steel used in future Welsh Government projects to be provided
- Advertise clearly all future opportunities for the supply of steel in Wales
- Engage early on in projects with steel producers and supply chains
- Appoint a ‘UK Supply Chain Champion’ to manage engagement with the steel sector
- Stipulate British steel standards within project requirements
Economy Minister Ken Skates said
“Wales is synonymous with the production of excellent quality British steel, something which Welsh Government has fought tirelessly to support over recent years.
“This Steel Charter further demonstrates our commitment to the industry. It is a well thought out, workable commitment from us as both supporters and procurers of Welsh steel, providing some much needed certainty to the industry here and ensuring our projects benefit from the use of high quality, British steel wherever possible.
“The Charter fully compliments our 2018 Procurement Advice Note supporting the sourcing of steel and, as we look to help further future proof the production of steel both in Wales and the UK, I call on Governments and public sector procurers from across the UK to look closely at how they too could play their part in ensuing we step up our support our British steel industry.”
Commenting on the Welsh Government’s commitment UK Steel Director General Gareth Stace said:
“I am incredibly pleased that the Welsh Government has today become the first committed signatory to the UK Steel Charter. With over half of the UK’s steel production taking place in Wales, today’s commitment from the Welsh Government once again symbolises and solidifies its commitment to our industry, one that remains the beating heart of the Welsh economy. “
“As one of the largest purchasers of steel across the UK, the Welsh Government’s procurement decisions have a major impact on the steel industry and the supply chains it sits within. Today’s commitment will not only increase opportunities for those supplying steel into Welsh public projects, but act as an example to other organisations across the UK to follow suit. In doing so the Welsh Government can act as a beacon of good public practice. “
Deirdre Fox, Director Strategic Business Development, Tata Steel, and Chair of UK Steel Procurement Committee said:
“Tata Steel is proud to be part of the UK Steel charter initiative and enormously pleased that Welsh Government is its first partner. We employ over 6,000 people in Wales and many thousands more in our supply chains – so it is only fitting that the Government in Cardiff was the first to step forward and makes this hugely positive commitment encouraging others to do the same.
“As a company, over a quarter of what we produce in Wales feeds into the UK construction sector as well as being exported to the EU and globally. Our highly differentiated Welsh produced construction products enable iconic buildings and infrastructure projects to be designed and delivered in a safe and environmentally sustainable way. Local steel, high quality and high value steel is key to a strong and vibrant construction sector in the Wales and the wider UK.”