UK Steel comments on Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer’s speech at Port Talbot Steelworks

23 October 2023

Commenting on Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer’s speech today at Port Talbot Steelworks, confirming a proposed £3 billion investment to modernise and decarbonise the UK steel industry, UK Steel Director General, Gareth Stace, said:

“We welcome Labour’s continued commitment to the future of our steel industry. Steel is a strategically vital core product that no developed economy can be without. The UK is the only G20 country where steel production has sharply declined over the last decade relative to the size of our economy and manufacturing base – we are a real outlier. For our steel sector to not only survive but actually thrive and deliver a massive boost to Net Zero Britain, we need a strong, long-term partnership between government and industry. 

"We look forward to our continued work with the Government and the Labour Party to secure the funding and the competitive operating business environment we need to ensure the UK steel industry can survive and thrive, continuing to provide highly paid skilled jobs across the regions and nations of the country.” 


About UK Steel: UK Steel is the trade association for the UK steel industry. It represents all the country’s steelmakers and most downstream steel processors. The UK steel sector:  

  • Produced 6Mt of crude steel in 2022, around 70% of the UK’s annual requirement (annual demand of 8.9Mt).
  • Employs 39,800 people directly in the UK and supports a further 50,000 in supply chains.
  • The median steel sector salary is £39,637, 43% higher than the UK national median and 56% higher than the regional median in Wales, Yorkshire, and Humberside, where its jobs are concentrated.
  • Directly contributes £2.9 billion to UK GDP and supports a further £3.8 billion.
  • Directly contributes £4 billion to the UK’s balance of trade.
  • 96% of steel used in construction and infrastructure in the UK is recovered and recycled to be used again and again.

For further information about the steel industry, please see the 2023 press pack or the 2023 UK Steel Key Statistics report.

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