UK Aerospace: innovating to stay ahead
Manufacturing Paul Everitt reveals how UK Aerospace industry is working in partnership with Government to secure long-term growth.
You only need to look at the record-breaking success of the Farnborough International Airshow this summer to get a sense of the overall well-being of the global aerospace market. The mood is a positive one – global demand for aircraft continues to increase and ADS data reveals that the aircraft order backlog will equate to nine years work in hand for the aerospace sector.
In the UK, our focus is on ensuring the business environment is set up to capitalise on the global opportunity, attracting investment and in doing so, securing many thousands of high value jobs. To achieve this, industry and Government have been working closely together to identify priorities and establish the best routes to success through the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP), securing investment from government and industry to the tune of £2bn to progress research, development and product innovation.
To provide the right skills for the long-term, the AGP has also founded a an Aerospace MSc bursary scheme that will provide 500 bursary MSc places over the next three years, 150 of which have already been taken up. These bursaries will upskill the existing UK aerospace workforce and reinforce the supply of skilled people with knowledge and expertise in key areas of technology for the future.
The AGP has already proven successful and we are seeing excellent early results from this significant investment. But competition around the world is intense, with many countries vying to secure investment and create skilled jobs.
Industry values the positive approach created by Government's aerospace industrial strategy and we are keen to see this commitment maintained through the next parliamentary cycle.
The aerospace industry and its employees benefits from the UK's membership of the European Union. It is more than just a large market. It is a significant source of additional funding for R&D investment and it plays an integral role in shaping the regulatory environment for our sector’s key customers and suppliers.
Despite the challenges posed by increasing global competition, we have demonstrated that a strong partnership between industry and Government can make a positive difference to companies at all levels of the supply chain. It is important that the work of the AGP continues, focusing on skills, innovation and a strengthened supply chain to maintain our global position for the long term.