The UK aerospace trade organisation’s new Flying Forward campaign is designed to promote the industry and forge closer ties with the government.
The industry-led campaign will form a partnership with the government in order to ensure that there is the right economic environment for growth in the industry.
Business Minister Mark Prisk gave a speech at a parliamentary reception to launch the project last night, declaring that he will not allow other countries to steal market share from British aerospace companies.
Mr Prisk highlighted the valuable contribution that the UK aerospace industry makes to UK PLC. The sector is worth £23bn a year, of which 70 per cent is exported, manufacturing success that the Business Minister wants to build upon.
“The industry has the potential for significant expansion in the coming decades,” said Mr Prisk. “That’s why the Government is working in the sector, through the Aerospace Growth Partnership, to achieve that potential, boost exports and grow the number of highly skilled jobs available in the UK.”
Rees Ward, CEO at ADS, said: “As our report “Flying Forward” shows, if we maintain our global market share and keep up investment, aerospace will be worth a total of £352bn to the UK by 2029.
However, Mr Ward pointed out that this is a critical time for the UK’s aerospace companies, which face increased competition from countries developing hi-tech manufacturing processes, like countries in the United Arab Emirates.
To maintain the UK’s position, Mr Ward argued that we “need to develop intellectual property to keep our sector at the forefront and maintain our industry’s global market share.”
“Industry is investing nearly 8% of its turnover back into R&D to ensure that the UK continues to be leading player in this vibrant sector,” he explained.
Emma Reynolds, MP for Wolverhampton North East, is the chair of the newly established All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which she said will “fly the flag for the new campaign in parliament.”
Ms Reynolds added that the focus will be on the manufacturing side of the aerospace sector. She stated that, despite the UK’s 17% global market share, APPG will remind government that success “can’t be taken for granted”, and that “there are concerns around skills and R&D that we would like to take up with the government.”