In aerospace it is vital that we see the implementation of the Aerospace Growth Strategy. The UK has 17% of the global market for aerospace manufacturing, which generated £24.2 billion of income for the UK in 2011, 75% of which was from exports. Much of this income is derived from investments and research and development carried out in the 1970s and 80s. This long-term industry needs long-term commitment and support from Government.
In civil aerospace our short-term problem is meeting skills challenges as the market booms, whilst conversely in military aerospace companies are facing the challenge of redeploying and retaining skilled people as defence spending falls in key markets. We are part of the Talent Retention Solution, set up to match skills shortages with skilled people being displaced by defence cuts.
The UK’s space industry is an unsung hero of the economy. Space based technologies are critical for national security, but also have vital roles in detecting weather systems, climate change, crop failures and many more applications. We aim to highlight the value of UK Space to the economy and raise awareness of the industry, supporting the jobs of our highly skilled members.
Our shipbuilding industry relies almost totally on defence spending in the UK. We are lobbying for a plan to fill the workload gap between the end of the carrier build and the start of Type 26 and looking for ways for the industry to diversify out of military shipbuilding primarily for the Royal Navy, encouraging exports and non-defence shipbuilding and repair.
Our UK defence industry needs a Defence Industrial Strategy. to allow the industry to plan and invest for the future with confidence. Our members’ jobs rely on investment in research and development, and the development of new technologies. Companies need clear direction from Government about the equipment our Armed Forces need and the budget available so that informed decisions can be made with an expectation that sales will follow.