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Final Steel Procurement Taskforce sets out recommendations to support continued competitiveness of UK steel sector

The Steel Procurement Taskforce publishes its Final Report which explores how the steel sector can best position itself to compete for major public projects.

Recommendations include the development of new tech, improving data and promoting greater transparency
The report was presented at the meeting of the UK Steel Council, which also discussed the latest updates on helping to decarbonise the sector.

The Steel Procurement Taskforce presented the findings of its final report to the Steel Council and Ministers, highlighting ways that the steel sector can become more competitive in the UK and globally.

The report was discussed at the meeting of the UK Steel Council, which brings together Government and representatives from the UK’s 6 major steel companies, trade unions and the devolved administrations, to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future.

The Taskforce’s recommendations, outlined in their Final Report, aim to help industry to compete for major public projects by developing new technology, improving data, and promoting greater transparency. For instance, 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 Taskforce 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.
The Government and the sector will consider the Taskforce’s recommendations over the coming months.

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.”

Co-chaired by Lord Grimstone and UK Steel’s Gareth Stace, the Steel Procurement Taskforce and its recommendations form part of the UK government’s ongoing commitment to support the sustainability of the steel sector.

As well as discussing the Taskforce’s recommendations, the Business Secretary also restated the importance of the steel industry to the Government and acknowledged the challenges the sector currently faces, particularly regarding energy costs.

The Government has provided over £600 million in relief to the steel sector since 2013 to make electricity costs more competitive.

The Council also further discussed the finalised UK Steel Sector’s Net Zero Steel Report, which is due to be published soon and outlines the needs for effective steel sector decarbonisation.

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