Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has been appointed chairman of the Aerospace Leadership Group, a panel of senior aerospace luminaries tasked with identifying growth opportunities.
The Group’s other members will be Sir Kevin Smith (GKN), Sir John Rose (Rolls-Royce), Tom Williams (Airbus) and Alberto de Benedictis (Finmeccanica), and will hold regular meetings to focus on major strategic issues facing the aerospace sector.
The announcement was made during Dr Cable’s speech to A|D|S at the Aerospace Conference on the opening day of the Farnborough International Airshow. The group will be supported by the Aerospace Growth Partnership — chaired by BIS Minister Mark Prisk, who also visited Farnborough today.
Ian Godden, Chairman of A|D|S, said: “The UK is number one in Europe and second only to the US globally in aerospace with a 17 per cent market share. The sector employs 100,000 people, generated £22 billion to the UK economy last year and continues its productivity drive and investment programmes. The sector is predicted to be worth a potential £352 billion between today and 2018.
“In a market where competition is as much between countries as between companies, a strong partnership with the UK Government will be crucial to maintaining our strong position. We are confident that strong industry leadership and our Cabinet firing on all cylinders, with Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, Business Secretary and Defence Secretary all promoting our industries internationally, Britain can do very well in these high value manufacturing and technology businesses. It is therefore very welcome news that Dr Cable is to play such a major role in promoting this crucial sector.”