The steelworkers’ trade union Community has welcomed the announcement today by Business Secretary Greg Clark MP of changes to procurement rules that will help provide more opportunities to the UK steel industry to meet the steel needs of public bodies.
Greg Clark told the House of Commons that the government is updating its steel procurement guidelines to the National Health Service and other public bodies. The government will drop the £10m threshold where public bodies are required to consider the social and economic impact of the steel that they source. Now all steel contracts in the public sector in England will need to assess the value of UK steel.
Responding to the announcement, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community said:
“We welcome today’s change to procurement rules as another step towards a joined-up industrial strategy that supports our steel industry. Using public sector procurement to deliver for the UK’s steel producers has been a key demand of our Save our Steel campaign and an issue we have consistently raised with government for many years. The changes the government made last year were positive and showed they were starting to listen to the voices of steelworkers and their employers. Today’s change is a welcome improvement, which we need to see put into practice so that UK companies are winning contracts and we can continue down the path towards a sustainable future for our steel industry.”
Community has led the trade union Save our Steel campaign, working with the industry to call for government action and support for the UK steel industry.