The aerospace, defence, security and space sectors are national success stories that are contributing to prosperity in every part of the UK.
Together, our sectors directly employ 363,000 people in communities right across the country, generating vital exports worth £37 billion a year and a total turnover of £72 billion. Our 11,000 apprentices demonstrate the substantial commitment made by employers to investing in the next generation.
Last year was a record year for civil aircraft deliveries to customers around the world, with 1,443 aircraft rolling off production lines. These deliveries were worth up to £27 billion to UK industry, with major manufacturing sites in the UK making key components, such as wings and engines, for some of the world’s most successful and popular aircraft, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) forming extensive supply chains in what is a truly global industry. Positive news has continued this year, with June’s Paris Air Show seeing orders announced for more than 1,400 aircraft, worth a further £13 billion to the UK.
The defence and security sectors have recently participated in an important Defence and Security Equipment International 2017. This year’s event in London saw the launch of Team UK, bringing together the UK Government, defence industry and academia to give our international partners world-leading capability, service and support.
Created by the Defence Growth Partnership, Team UK is a leading example of the benefits of industrial strategy – Government and industry working together – that has been one of the great economic success stories of recent years. Established in 2010, the Aerospace Growth Partnership is blazing a trail for other sectors across the economy to follow.
This partnership between the Government and industry has helped generate a 19% increase in productivity in the aerospace sector since 2010, compared to just 3% in the rest of the UK economy.
Productivity is one of the UK’s long-term economic challenges and the time is right for us to put real backing behind high-value design and innovation, or risk being overtaken by our international competitors. It is now vital for the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy to build on successes achieved already, making a renewed commitment to putting the UK at the forefront of cutting edge technological development and advanced manufacturing in the years ahead.
One of the biggest challenges facing all UK industries is our exit from the European Union. Failing to agree a deal with the EU would be the worst outcome for the UK. We need a deal that secures access to the customers, suppliers, skills, research and development (R&D) programmes and influence that are all critical to our sector’s global competitiveness.
Businesses need a smooth transition, and business groups including ours came together in July to support proposals made for the UK to remain in the EU single market and customs union until a final deal comes into force.
A successful deal will help to lay the foundations for our sectors to benefit from the economic opportunities that lie ahead, continuing to deliver growth and employment in all parts of our nation.