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Steel Industry

Volume 615: debated on Wednesday 12 October 2016

Order. There is far too much noise in the Chamber. The Minister is a debutante at the Box. He ought to be heard.

Not quite a debutante, Mr Speaker—we can only hope.

The steel industry in Scotland remains a vital part of the UK steel industry as a whole. The Government continue to engage with steel companies, devolved Governments and trade unions to ensure a sustainable and prosperous steel industry for the UK.

Liberty House is taking more than 70% of its new workforce from among former Tata Steel employees, which is good news for Motherwell, and it should be congratulated on that. Will my hon. Friend congratulate the company, in particular, on its apprenticeship programme, which is a positive endorsement of Britain’s engineering future?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to focus on the Dalzell plate mill, which opened last month under its new owners, Liberty House Group, with the Government’s support. As this illustrates, we have taken clear action to help the industry, for example by securing state aid to compensate for energy costs and through flexibility over EU emissions regulations and many other areas. I also share his delight in the work that has been done on apprenticeships.

During recess, I attended the reopening of the Dalzell works in Motherwell. Will the Minister speak to the Scottish Government about how steel jobs can be saved by putting together a package that really works?

I am grateful to the hon. Lady. The Government stand ready to work together with the Scottish Government on any area that can support and protect Scottish jobs and Scottish industry.