I was pleased to join UK Steel in Parliament this week to sign the UK Steel Charter.
The UK steel industry directly employs over 30,000 people, supporting thousands more in constituencies across the UK. Furthermore, these jobs are high skilled and highly paid, with an average wage of £36,000 per annum, this is 46% higher than the average regional wage where the bulk of these jobs are concentrated.
The UK Steel Charter aims to maximise opportunities – not just for these 30,000 workers – but for the UK economy, by encouraging and promoting measures that can be taken in relation to the procurement of steel for major projects.
The Charter builds on the pre-existing public guidance from the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments, turning it into practical steps that public and private organisations can publicly commit to. Simple examples include: advertising steel supply opportunities early, engaging with supply chains in advance of tendering, or simply ensuring contractors know and report on the origin of their steel.
A healthy national economy is built upon a healthy steel industry. We have faced some difficult times of late with the dumping of steel by China and other countries onto the international markets. We need a UK Government which supports this vital industry not one that stands idly by. That is why I signed the Steel Charter and why I will continue to press for greater investment.