Terms of reference
The Tata Steel / Port Talbot Transition Board will be established to provide Ministers with advice on how to protect and grow the economic environment and to support and mitigate the impact on those workers, businesses and communities(1) directly affected by Tata Steel UK (TSUK)’s decarbonisation transition.
To build resilience and confidence for the future the Transition Board will focus on two overarching areas of activity:
- Immediate support for the people, businesses and communities directly affected; and
- A plan for regeneration and economic growth for the next decade.
2. The Transition Board’s purpose
The Transition Board’s role will be advisory. The UK Government and TSUK will make up to £100 million available for interventions in the affected area, and the Transition Board will make recommendations for where that funding could be best invested. The £100 million funding will be in addition to the skills, employability and business support levers that the Welsh Government will use to help those affected. It will also be in addition to the support provided to affected people and businesses by the Department of Work and Pensions.
The Transition Board will invite sub-groups to be set up to mobilise and engage with local partners, advise and oversee production of the regeneration and economic growth plan. The Transition Board will be supported by a Steering Group of officials. See Parts 9 and 10 of these Terms of Reference for more specific roles and expectations of the Transition Board.
Oversight of the delivery of the £1.25 billion decarbonisation project, including site remediation, is not part of the remit of this Board. This is for the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) to lead on separately with TSUK. DBT and TSUK will provide updates to the Transition Board, especially where there are links to be made with support measures and longer-term regeneration opportunities.
On 15 September 2023, a £1.25 billion investment to decarbonise TSUK’s operations was announced. A UK Government grant forms £500 million of that investment.
TSUK employs approximately 7,900 people in the UK, 3,900 of which are based in the Port Talbot site. The other four sites in Wales (Llanwern, Trostre, Shotton and Caerphilly) employ approximately 2,500 people. There are approximately 1,500 employees based in sites in England. TSUK’s operations also support a significant number of jobs in their supply chain across the whole of the UK. The current steel making configuration at TSUK’s Port Talbot site supports the traditional Blast Furnace/Basic Oxygen System method. The blast furnaces are coming towards the end of their life cycle and the total carbon dioxide emissions across Tata Steel account for 22 per cent of territorial carbon dioxide emissions from Wales (2). The project, if undertaken, will modernise steelmaking at the Port Talbot site for the future. Therefore, the work of the Transition Board will predominantly focus on Port Talbot. TSUK now needs to work closely with Unions and with staff on their proposals before reaching a final decision.
The Transition Board will initially meet monthly, moving to quarterly when appropriate. Terms of Reference will be reviewed after two months by the Transition Board to determine if the frequency and membership are still appropriate.
The secretariat for the Transition Board and the sub-groups will be provided by UK Government, Welsh Government and Neath Port Talbot Council officials. Responsibilities of the secretariat will include circulating agendas in advance of meetings and providing a readout of agreed decisions and actions following each Transition Board meeting. Papers, analysis and evidence will be commissioned by the secretariat as required.
The Transition Board chairs will undertake joint communications, seeking advice from others as necessary. A ‘Communications Protocol’ and ‘Stakeholder Engagement Plan’ will also be developed to establish the principles and methods for communicating the economic plan and the work of the Transition Board with the agreement of Transition Board chairs and members.
7. Membership and Governance
The membership of the Transition Board, including chairing arrangements, is outlined in the Annex. The governance of the Board is outlined in Figure 1. Members may nominate deputies to attend in exceptional circumstances but members are expected to make all efforts to attend all Board meetings. The Transition Board will also agree whether additional attendees and stakeholders – who can provide further expertise and knowledge – should also be invited to join the Transition Board on an ad hoc basis depending on the issues being discussed.
8. Working together: a partnership of equals
Members of the Transition Board will:
- Work in partnership to share information, insights and resources to reduce duplication and maximise benefits. An information sharing protocol will be agreed.
- Share all pertinent information, regarding TSUK sites, the workforce and any other major business news (e.g., potential new investments).
- Ensure that all Transition Board members are engaged and kept informed effectively.
- The Transition Board will establish and maintain trust – within the Transition Board, with Governments, and with the community.
- The Transition Board will draw together partners from across governments, with local authorities, and with other interested and affected stakeholders, with a focus on co-operation to achieve the aims and objectives of the Board.
9. Role – Transition Board (See Figure 1)
- Lead the strategic local response to support employees of TSUK, contractors, communities and businesses affected by the restructuring of TSUK’s business.
- Maintain engagement with TSUK at Ministerial level to ensure co-ordinated activity in relation to the interventions that support workers, families, communities and businesses affected by TSUK’s transition to greener steelmaking.
- Facilitate introductions to other UK and Welsh Government Departments and their agencies to secure access to timely policy advice and relevant support.
- Facilitate access to national and local support mechanisms through DWP, REACT, Careers Wales, Business Wales, Development Bank of Wales, Innovate UK, British Business Bank, wider support for decarbonisation from UKG, and others to respond to local needs.
- Consider recommendations for further support presented by the sub-groups.
- Monitor the work of the sub-groups to provide the area with maximum exposure for relevant investment opportunities.
- Identify available and potential resources (funding and people) who can commit to supporting the Transition Board, its work and the future economic growth of the area.
- Identify new and existing public and private sector investment to deliver or accelerate targeted programmes to mitigate impact on the local economy.
- Make recommendations on how the £100 million funding should be delivered to support appropriate job loss mitigations and longer-term regeneration activity.
- Monitor and evaluate the outputs and outcomes as defined by the Transition Board and commission work as needed to benchmark economic impact.
10. Role – Sub-groups
The sub-groups will be responsible for mobilising local partners and gathering information on a range of support programmes, recommending courses of actions or interventions to the Transition Board. Figure 1 within the Annex illustrates the Transition Board structure. We propose that sub-groups focus on:
a) People, Skills and Business:
Immediate response and support to:
- Undertake appropriate gap analysis (e.g., available jobs; training placement shortages etc) and to use data to make recommendations.
- Ensure the right support at the right time for employees directly affected, including the provision of re-employment, re-training, welfare advice, pension advice etc.
- Support those wishing to set up their own business.
- Support those businesses affected in the supply chain.
- Provide those affected with health and well-being support.
- Work with local partners and HE/FE establishments to share skills programmes which are suitable for affected workers, identifying gaps and developing new skills programmes where training gaps exist.
b) Place and Regeneration
Medium – long-term response and support over the next 1-10 years to:
- Work with local partners to measure the potential short and long-term economic shock to the area including supply chain impacts.
- Work with local partners to develop a credible economic strategy to support Port Talbot’s transition over the next decade.
- Develop and drive forward business cases to access the £100 million funding.
- Consider wider support mechanisms, including wider UKG decarbonisation measures that will facilitate the transition of the area.
- Seek and secure alternative investment that aims to at least replace the economic value of the jobs that will be lost and support replacement business opportunities.
- Establish how land holdings can be repurposed at the end of decommissioning to support the regeneration of the Tata site.
- Align and link proposals to the UKG and WG wider strategic objectives.
It is proposed that each sub-group has a membership of key partners to be determined locally in discussion with the Transition Board. These sub-groups will be reviewed after two months as certain elements may require additional task-groups to be set up.
Annex: Members and Attendees of the Transition Board
|Role on Transition Board
Rt Hon David TC Davies MP, Secretary of State for Wales
Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for the Economy
Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
Nusrat Ghani MP, Minister of State for the Investment Security Unit, and Minister for Industry and Economic Security
Councillor Steve Hunt, Leader of the Council
|Neath Port Talbot Council
|Tata Steel representatives
|Community, Unite and GMB.
Stephen Kinnock, MP for Aberavon
|Local Member of Parliament
Business / Community Representative(s) to be confirmed at the first meeting