Government-backed competitiveness improvement programme, Sharing in Growth, has now delivered more than one million training hours to the UK’s aerospace supply chain.
By supporting manufacturing and maintenance suppliers to become more productive and cost-efficient, Sharing in Growth (SiG) has helped the first 26 companies on the programme to secure contracts worth more than £1.3bn – reportedly equivalent to 2,300 UK jobs.
With 50 companies already recruited to SiG, there are only ten places left to fill on the programme for ambitious companies whose turnover is at least £10m.
Among the SiG companies winning business is Rockford Components, the UK’s largest independent provider of interconnect systems, which has secured more than £13mn in contracts and created around 100 jobs since joining the programme in 2014.
Managing director of Rockford Components, Peter Lion explained: “With the support from Sharing in Growth, we have strengthened the leadership around our ambition, increased efficiencies and reduced our manufacturing costs which has given the company a greater competitive position.
“A reduction in labour costs, along with improved purchasing efficiencies and new marketing material have enabled Rockford to secure some major contracts, which has led to an increased demand on our manufacturing facilities. We have grown our workforce by 30% in 2016 and will continue to grow over the coming years.”
Established in August 2013, the SiG programme helps aerospace supply chain companies to improve their productivity and competitiveness so they are better placed to win a share of continued growth in the global aerospace market.
The suppliers participate in an intense four-year training and development programme which attracts an average £1.1m from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for each company. The activity is matched by the beneficiaries’ time, and to date this private sector contribution is valued at more than £40m.
Sharing in Growth CEO, Andy Page commented: “We are backed by all the major aerospace primes who are supporting the programme with insights into customer demand and by recommending some of the best suppliers to join the programme.
Companies interested in joining the SiG programme should as soon as possible complete an expression of interest form which is available here.
“SiG’s effectiveness is clear as so far we’ve helped UK aerospace companies to secure £1.3bn in orders – 20% of which is for direct export. Ultimately the SiG programme’s goal is to secure 10,000 UK jobs by 2022.”
The programme is backed by a total of £80m from the RGF, alongside endorsement from the likes of Airbus; BAE Systems; Boeing; Bombardier; GE; GKN; Leonardo; Lockheed Martin; Safran, and Rolls-Royce.
CEO of ADS Group, Paul Everitt commented: “The UK’s aerospace industry is well placed to benefit from the sustained growth in demand for new aircraft, but we cannot afford to underestimate the strength of international competition.
“The Sharing in Growth programme, a key part of the UK’s successful aerospace industrial strategy, is able to provide the help and support fast growing businesses need to ensure they stay ahead of the competition.”