With steel playing such a critical role in the economic and social fabric of the West Midlands, Ms Stevenson was keen to see first-hand one of the foundation industries that underpins the whole UK manufacturing sector.
She said: “This is hi-tech manufacturing at its very best – not only in the technology being deployed there, but the levels of innovation and supply-chain management at the very heart of one of the UK’s most important manufacturing regions.
“Companies such as Tata Steel play a vital role in my constituency, and I was delighted to meet some apprentices who are learning hugely valuable skills for their future careers. Getting more young people in Wolverhampton into work is one of my key ambitions as a Member of Parliament representing my home city.”
Tata Steel’s Wednesfield site lead Malcolm Boyles said: “It’s always a pleasure to welcome visitors to our site – it’s not quite what people expect as we take them through a maze of robots and laser-welding equipment.
“We supply advanced products to all the major manufacturing sectors and most of the UK car makers with semi-finished products such as door and roof blanks, so our technology and cleanliness has to be as good as theirs, if not better.
Also present to welcome Ms Stevenson was Tata Steel UK’s chief commercial officer Anil Jhanji, who added: “Tata Steel continues to play a fundamental role at the heart of UK manufacturing. This was well illustrated during the recent pandemic when we supplied tubes for hospital beds, steels for canned food helping to reduce food waste, and were able to step up our output to help the UK construction sector start its ‘build back better’ programme championed by Government following lock down.
“Our industry has some fundamental challenges about how to supply our customers with ‘green’ decarbonised steels, and like the rest of the world’s steel industry, we very much believe this is best done in partnership with our suppliers, our partner universities, our customers and with government.”