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Govt Launches Inquiry To Boost British Steel Industry

The steel industry in the UK could be given a boost after the government has revealed plans to launch an inquiry into the sector.

The Business Committee, comprised of several MPs, has announced it will look into the collapse of one of the industry’s biggest companies, British Steel, last month.

The firm entered compulsory liquidation on May 22nd, the BBC reported, potentially affecting more than 20,000 people’s jobs in the supply chain.

Chair of the Business Committee Rachel Reeves was reported by the news provider as saying: “It is vital that the government and Official Receive do all they can to secure a viable future for British Steel.”

This will help the entire industry, as it will force the government to “examine the serious challenges facing the future of the steel sector in the UK”.

Until now, issues such as energy costs and business rates have been ignored by the government, and this inquiry could encourage company owners to undertake further responsibility.

The government certainly seems to be taking an avid interest in protecting the steel sector, as the British Steel Support Group met earlier this month to help protect the future of steel production in the UK.

Representatives from the industry, as well as local MPs, members of trade unions, trade bodies, the government, and the Local Enterprise Partnerships, came together to discuss plans to find a suitable buyer for British Steel following its collapse.

Business secretary Greg Clark stated: “I wanted to convene the British Steel Support Group to harness the passion and experience of everyone in the group to help secure the future of steelmaking at these sites.”

He went on to say the government needs to continue to support the Official Receiver to find a suitable buyer for the company, as this will protect important steel jobs.

Mr Clark noted that despite the challenging time, workers have managed to demonstrate the strength of the steel industry in the country by producing “record levels of steel production – testament to their commitment and hard work”.

“The world will always need steel,” he stated, adding: “And British Steel is amongst the best in the world.”

The amount of steel that is exported internationally demonstrates how valuable the metal is, not only to Britain but to other countries across the globe. It is also necessary to support the country’s economy, providing one of our most secure exports.

One way to boost the industry to ensure the industry remains strong could be to recycle steel rather than focus on producing it.

An article in the Guardian highlighted a study by Professor Julian Allwood, professor of engineering and the environment at the University of Cambridge, showed there are a considerable number of benefits of recycling steel, including reducing the demand for steel from primary reduction to almost nothing.

While Britain currently exports the majority of the ten million tonnes of scrap metal it produces a year, by re-using it ourselves, we could significantly cut down on the need to produce steel to meet the country’s demand.

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