Reality TV star Jake Quickenden urges government to back UK steel through procurement

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
23 February 2015

Reality TV star Jake Quickenden has added his voice to a campaign calling on the government to “support the UK steel industry through procurement”.

Quickenden, a runner-up on The X Factor and I’m A Celebrity…, has joined the Community trade union’s “Stand up for Steel” campaign, which is pressuring the government to give the UK steel industry a “sustainable future”.

The singer and former footballer, who is from Scunthorpe, said: “I’ve got lots of friends and family who depend on the Scunthorpe steelworks and I know just how important it is to the town. That’s why I wanted to add my support to the campaign. I hope the prime minister stands up for steel and listens to what the steelworkers want.”

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, said: “It’s great to have Jake’s support to give our campaign the X factor. Being a Scunthorpe lad, Jake knows how important the steel industry is to his home town. But Scunthorpe’s not the only steel community. From Port Talbot to Redcar and Corby to Clydebridge, there are many more places where steel is the beating heart of industry."

Community wants the government to bring forward a billion pound compensation package for energy intensive industries such as steel, which was announced in the 2014 budget but won’t be available until April 2016. The union is also asking for the government to "support the UK steel industry through procurement, to stop foreign steel imports being dumped in the UK and for the government to get employers to work with unions to secure the industry’s future".

Rickhuss said: “There are over 30,000 direct jobs in the industry supporting three more jobs in the wider economy and steel is needed for strategic sectors like aerospace, automotive, infrastructure and construction. UK steel is one of the foundations on which our economy is built which is why the government needs to stand up for steel to give it a sustainable future.”

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