UK steel suppliers are only one component in a supply chain that also requires skilled engineers not only to manufacture the steel itself, but also to design the buildings and infrastructure that use it, and ultimately to erect those structures too.

With the need for skilled individuals throughout the supply chain, any upturn in entries into STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – qualifications is good news for the industry.

As such, EEF, industry organisation for manufacturers and parent group to UK Steel, has welcomed the latest A-level results and the increase in participation in STEM subjects.

“Students who have achieved top grades in these subjects have significantly boosted their employability and their chances of enjoying a successful and sustainable career,” says EEF education policy adviser Verity O’Keefe.

However, there are still substantial gender gaps to be closed, with subjects like Physics still very male-dominated, even despite a 4.7% year-on-year increase in female participation in the subject.

But with greater focus on access to long-term careers in the industry, the future is looking bright for UK steel suppliers, and for others both up and down the steel supply chain.