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Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure

First published:
7 December 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

I welcome the agreement reached today between Tata and the Unions. The past year has been difficult for Tata workers and their families and this announcement represents a significant milestone.

I have committed to keep Members up to date with progress in developing support for Tata Steel in Wales. The Welsh Government has been working closely with Tata over recent months, and I am pleased to announce that a significant skills support package has been agreed for the company.

This is not only good news for the Tata plants in Wales but also the individual workers who have worked so tirelessly over the past year to sustain steel production in Wales.  It also demonstrates our firm commitment to do all that we can to secure the future of the Tata plants and our belief that steel making has a sustainable future in Wales.

To develop its business and become a market leader in key markets, Tata needs to continuously invest in its people and train them to be competent in their roles and up-skill remaining staff following recent redundancies.  It also needs to further develop and enhance its customer and supply chain relationships to secure the long term viability of the business.

The company is investing in comprehensive training to develop staff and managers across all sites in Wales. This has led to the development of several distinct training projects designed to progress these objectives and cover a range of training packages. This will improve succession planning and knowledge management with a focus on transferring knowledge and skills of the mature workforce to a younger generation.

The Welsh Government has made an offer of £4,075,428 towards the financial costs of implementing these projects, matching the investment being made by the company. This investment demonstrates the firm belief that we have in the future of the Tata plants in Wales and the retention of long-term skills across Wales.

We have also made significant progress towards defining a wider package of support for Tata. This wider package will be subject to agreeing the detail of legally binding conditions that will be attached to the package and offer protection to the workforce and the wider community.