Sharing in Growth to propel aerospace

Federico Ercoli went to Williams F1 headquarters to find out about the Sharing in Growth programme.

Getting an invitation for an event that will be hosted at an F1 competitor’s headquarters is not rare in my line of work. Although I have to admit, reading that a Sharing in Growth (SiG) presentation was to be hosted at Williams F1 made me somewhat excited.

I immediately put myself in the shoes of racing team fans and I pictured them texting their mates or calling their partners to tell them the good news with smiley faces. I empathised. On the day of the event, after a rainy journey from Paddington to Didcot, I hopped in a cab to Williams F1 headquarters in Grove, Oxfordshire.

After pinning the badge on my jacket, I headed for the Ayrton Senna conference room and couldn’t help but taking a trip down the memory lane.

Ayrton Senna's Test car.
Ayrton Senna’s Test car.

Luckily, for the sake of my emotional sport memories, it was promptly interrupted as CEO Andy Page started sharing some encouraging figures regarding the future of the aerospace industry.

“There’s more than $5tn in the total civil aerospace market over the next 20 years,” he said. Those familiar with the industry will know that SiG is a business improvement programme that aims at helping UK aerospace and related manufacturers to “grow from good to great”.

Created with substantial help (£80m) from the Regional Growth Fund, SiG employs 120 full-time professionals running a four-year programme and targets capital and finance, technology and skills and capabilities inside every beneficiary’s company that gets admitted.

Every business is then provided with more than £1m of grant-funded training and the programme is said to have the capability of creating 10,000 jobs.

To further stress the importance of the programme, in addition to the fact that the event took place right before the UK elections, Green lamented the lack of debate about UK’s 13% decrease in national productivity when compared to North America, “We are sitting on something and there’s an absolute challenge going on now,” he said. I couldn’t agree more.