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Vaughan Gething, First Minister

First published:
14 May 2024
Last updated:

On 9th May, I travelled to Mumbai, India to meet with senior executives from Tata Steel. I made the case to retain blast furnace steel making at Port Talbot, avoid any compulsory redundancies and to not make irreversible choices ahead of a UK General Election that could materially change the industry’s future. 

During extensive talks, I strongly emphasised the need to avoid compulsory redundancies across Welsh sites and stressed the importance of maintaining Tata’s downstream operations to ensure production levels are fully maintained with a longer-term future at Trostre, Shotton, Llanwern and Caerphilly. The Company agreed to provide information on those affected by any transition plans in order to ensure support can be provided quickly to employees and suppliers. The supply chain within Wales is significant and reaches beyond steel communities directly. In order for government to provide effective and rapid support to businesses and workers impacted by the transition process throughout the supply chain, it is essential that we are provided with the information required at an early stage. I look forward to updating Members on the development of this work.

We also discussed important areas of shared interest, including investment opportunities in and around Port Talbot and collaboration with Welsh Universities, particularly Swansea, on all areas of green steel production, including scrap processing and construction. I was able to highlight the significant investment and jobs opportunity represented by the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) in Onllwyn and I am pleased that the Company agreed to consider a Memorandum of Understanding with GCRE. 

I have also met with trade union representatives and will continue to hold discussions with the workforce in the coming days. The company welcomed the opportunity to talk to Welsh Government directly and agreed to continue to work on these important issues.