The Tata Steel plant at Port Talbot, South Wales
The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, has announced a £4m investment to boost skills at Tata Steel following a visit to the company’s Port Talbot plant.
This grant funding will enable Tata Steel to deliver a number of training programmes to strengthen the core skills of their employees and help develop new advanced manufacturing and engineering techniques across the business.
The purpose of this, from the perspective of the Welsh Government, is to improve efficiency and increase productivity, helping Tata Steel to meet growing international demands and positioning Wales in the highly competitive global steel industry.
The First Minister said: “We continue to work very closely with Tata Steel to support their plans to develop its business and become more innovative, productive and efficient.
“Tata Steel has made a substantial commitment to roll out a wide-ranging programme of ring-fenced training projects across all sites in Wales.
“The investment I am announcing today demonstrates our absolute commitment to the company in supporting this ambitious agenda.”
Tata Steel has identified a number of key business priorities that include aspiring to be the world steel industry benchmark for value creation and corporate citizenship, sustain their skills-base through recruitment, retention and training of their apprentices, trainees and employees and to continue to contribute positively to the Welsh and the wider economy.
The news comes following Tata’s announcement last month that it would invest £75m into blast furnace repairs at the Port Talbot steelworks to secure the site’s future for the next decade.
In response to the announcement, a spokesperson for Tata Steel said: “We are delighted the Welsh Government has again recognised the importance of supporting the training and continued upskilling of the workforce.
“More than 80% of all our employees in Wales have directly benefitted from training in areas such as health & safety, business and maintenance excellence as well as a host of other areas thanks to Welsh Government funding.
“This allows us to ensure our employees can do more which in turn means they can better support the whole economy of Wales.”
Almost 7,000 people are employed by Tata in Wales, including more than 4,000 in Port Talbot - the largest steelworks in the UK.