UK targets making steel sector more competitive globally

THE UK’s steel procurement taskforce has presented the findings of its final report on the ways in which the steel sector can become more competitive in the UK and globally.

Discussed at a meeting between the UK Steel Council, which brings together government, representatives from six major UK steel companies, trade unions, and the devolved administrations, it is hoped that the findings support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future.

The taskforce’s recommendations aim to help the industry compete for major public projects by developing new technology, improving data, and promoting greater transparency. It found that enhancing data collection, including on the origin of steel, as well as developing a digital products library, could help optimise steel procurement and help industry to best position itself for success.

The final report also recommends:

  • Procurers engaging with the steel supply chain early in the buying process.
  • Government setting a requirement for new contracts involving steel to report and record the origin of the steel.
  • Government updating the steel public procurement note to ensure it represents best practice.
  • Highlighting for public buyers the relevant methodology and tools that should be used when purchasing significant amounts of steel.
  • The UK steel industry exploring the future development of a ‘steel standard’.
  • Industry and government assessing the potential to use UK norms where harmonised standards do not exist when publishing the specification of steel required in public projects.

UK Government business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said, “We know and recognise the critical role the steel industry plays in all areas of our economy, and the recommendations set out by the taskforce highlight ways we can achieve our shared objective of a thriving, competitive and open UK steel sector. Steel is a national strategic industry and we want to see the sector continue to win business both domestically and internationally over the long-term as it transitions to a low carbon future in a way that supports competitiveness, jobs and clean growth.”