Finance Secretary announces plan to support Welsh steel industry
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford yesterday (22 January) published a new procurement advice note (PAN) which will continue the Welsh Government’s support for the Welsh and wider UK steel industry.
The PAN builds on the recommendations in the Steel Report by the Tata Steel Task Force in January 2016, which identified public procurement as an area of support for the steel industry in Wales and the UK. The PAN will provide clarity to the Welsh public sector on approaches which should be adopted to open up sub-contract opportunities for Welsh and UK steel suppliers.
Professor Drakeford said: “The publication of the PAN is part of our ongoing commitment to support the long-term viability of steel making in Wales and recognises the importance of steel to the Welsh and UK economy as a provider of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs – both directly and in the supply chain – and as a key investor in further education and research and development.”
The steel PAN encourages public sector bodies to determine which of their procurements are major projects in which steel is likely to be a critical component. It suggests they may include but are not limited to:
- Infrastructure projects – such as rail and roads;
- Construction projects – such as the building of and or refurbishment of prisons, hospitals, universities, housing, community centres, bridges and schools;
- Flood defences.
Professor Drakeford added: “This is a further example of the Welsh Government’s commitment to provide opportunities for local suppliers to engage in public contracts – either directly or through the supply chain – and is part of our wider support package for the steel sector in Wales. It also highlights our ongoing policy of using public procurement to support ethical business practices.
“We are already seeing the results of the first steel PAN, which was issued in 2016, to support the Eastern Bay Link Road project, funded by the Welsh Government. This has helped source 89% of the steel reinforcing bars used in the construction of the road from within Wales.”
The procurement advice note Supporting the sourcing of steel in construction and infrastructure projects in Wales is available on the following link at: Supporting the sourcing of steel in major construction and infrastructure projects in Wales (PAN) .
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