Plans to undertake new research into future market opportunities for UK steel were agreed today at the second meeting of the Steel Council.
The forum, chaired jointly by the Business Secretary Sajid Javid and the Chair of UK Steel Jon Bolton and attended by representatives from across the industry, was established last year to build on the work of a series of Ministerial Working Groups, and look at the longer term future of the sector. It aims to consider how industry and government can strengthen the capability and competiveness of the UK steel industry. A number of ‘asks’ have already been delivered.
The new research, which will be commissioned shortly, will be used to comprehensively map current capability of the UK sector, identify high-value opportunities in new markets and look at how to overcome potential challenges or barriers that are preventing industry from diversifying and meeting future demand. It will help inform how government can best direct R&D investment and build future skills capability.
As well as discussing future capability, the meeting also discussed energy, procurement and trade issues, acknowledging that much progress had been made.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Thousands of workers, businesses and communities up and down the country depend on the steel industry for their livelihoods, and I am determined to ensure a long-term sustainable future. That is why the work of the Steel Council is so important in enabling government and industry to work together to consider both the current and future needs of the industry and how best to meet them.
Much progress has been made - and I was delighted to welcome the new company British Steel to today’s productive meeting. We recognise there is more to do and this new research into future capability will help to ensure we build on our world-leading status in developing new and innovative steel products.
The Steel Council builds on the work of the Steel Ministerial Working Groups which worked to identify solutions on short-term issues identified by industry such as emissions regulations, energy cost exemptions and anti-dumping measures.
Attendees at the Steel Council were:
- Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
- Jon Bolton, Chairman UK Steel
- Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales
- Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise
- Lord Bourne, Department for Energy and Climate Change/Wales Office
- Ken Skates, Economy Secretary, Welsh Government
- Kevin Draper, Commercial Director, Acenta Steel
- Sarah McCann-Bartlett, Director General, British Constructional Steelwork Association
- Peter Hogg, Commercial Director, British Steel
- Luis Sanz, CEO, Celsa UK
- Chris Hagg, Public Affairs, Celsa Steel
- Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman, Liberty House Group
- John Beeley, General Manager, Outokumpu Stainless Ltd
- Jay Hambro, CEO, SIMEC (related to Liberty Group)
- Bimlendra Jha, CEO, Tata Steel UK
- Deirdre Fox, Strategic Business Development, Tata Steel UK
- Tim Morris, Head of Public Affairs, Tata Steel Europe
- Harish Patel, National Officer for Steel, Unite Union
- David Hulse, National Officer, GMB Union
- Eamon O’Hearn, National Officer, GMB Union
- Alasdair McDiarmid, Head of Research and Policy, Community Union