The North West aerospace industry is an ‘exemplary’ model for the country to follow, according to a top Government minister.
Quentin Davies, the minister for defence equipment and support, praised the work of the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) at the opening of its new Preston office. He spoke of how the work of the NWAA, through its Aerospace Supply Chain Excellence programme (ASCE), should be used as a model by other sectors.
Mr Davies was joined by a number of high profile figures from aerospace companies such as BAE Systems and Airbus, along with Preston business figures from groups including the North West Regional Development Agency, Preston College and Business Link NW.
He told the assembled audience: “I think that the work you have done on the ASCE programme is exemplary and is a model that I think should be held up in other sectors and other regions.” He added that aerospace was of vital importance to the country: “Aerospace is very hi-tech, adds a lot of value and there are a lot of exciting career prospects. It’s very important to take these skills and maintain these markets.”
Martin Wright, chief executive of the NWAA, added: “This is a milestone in the development of the NWAA. We aim to continually evolve to face the needs of the future supply chain in aerospace and advanced engineering. We welcome the minister’s support of our development and his views on the quality of the ASCE programme.
“Our programme will continue to be based on the development of an advanced cluster requiring very high levels of skill to compete in the global market. We recognise that skills development is a fundamental issue for the North West region which has such a strength in manufacturing from apprentices and beyond.”
The NWAA was recently granted more than £m in funding from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to develop the next stage of its world-leading Aerospace Supply Chain Excellence (ASCE) Programme, into ASCE 2. The new office, at Bamber Bridge, will be home to the ASCE 2 team.