UK Aerospace campaign image

Protect UK aerospace



The UK aerospace industry is the jewel in the crown of the UK economy. It is the largest in Europe and third largest globally, employing over 114,000 people directly, with an annual turnover of £33.9bn. 

This world-leading industry was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. Jobs losses have already been announced at world class companies like Airbus and Rolls-Royce, hit by the sudden drop in aircraft orders caused by the massive downturn in aviation.

Now is the time to recover, rebuild and grow. Going for Growth - Beyond 2022 is a workers' vision, written by our members. It sets out the steps the government must take to deliver a greener, sustainable and more self-reliant future for UK workers and the economy. 

Read the full report here
Read the briefing paper here

The British government has been failing aerospace workers for years. While this new Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) funding is a step in the right direction. But without a long term strategy and bold vision, tens of thousands more highly skilled jobs and quality apprenticeships could disappear from our shores altogether. France and Germany have stepped up to protect their industries for future generations. The UK government must do the same. 

Help save UK jobs and skills


Unite is calling for the UK government to partner with the aerospace industry on a programme for the sector to SURVIVE, REBUILD and RECOVER.

A bold UK government intervention and strategy to support the sector similar in scope and ambition to that unveiled by the French and Germany governments. This strategy should be driven by a national taskforce that includes Unite and other key stakeholders with an aim to maintain the UK's leading global position.

Adaptation and continuation of the government’s job retention scheme (JRS) including a shorter working week scheme, such as the one in Germany which has helped, for example keep Rolls-Royce jobs losses to 5% while in the UK 25% of jobs are being lost.
Government support must come with water-tight conditions including keeping jobs and manufacturing in the UK on projects such as the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and Airbus's 'Wings of Tomorrow' programme.

A government-supported aircraft replacement scheme to help the aviation sector dramatically reduce its carbon footprint. New aircraft on average use 25% less fuel, emit 25% less CO2 and produce 50% less noise. Production and parts must come from the UK.

Investment in UK defence programmes. The UK government must give a long-term commitment to the future fighter Tempest programme and to its own version of the European Union’s Galileo global navigation satellite system (GNSS). This is about national sovereignty and national security, defending not just the economy but the nation too.

Diversification through ground-breaking new UK technologies. For example, Rolls- Royce's Small Modular Reactor (SMR), which requires £500 million Risk and Reward funding to bring it to market but has the potential to exploit a multi-billion-pound global market and contribute to reducing greenhouse emissions around the world.

Research and Development needs to be increased and the current 50/50 ratio between government and companies changed to 80/20 to bring us in line with those of France and Germany. This will enable bringing new green technologies quickly to market and being made in the UK including electrification, composites, and sustainable aviation fuels.

Continued support for aerospace apprenticeships to close the growing skills gap across an ageing workforce. We also need flexibility with the government apprenticeship levy so, for example, companies can draw on their funds to support apprentices in their UK supply chain. Again, UK government support must come with conditions to aerospace companies to maintain and continue with apprenticeships.

Taking the right path. We are at cross-roads for the UK aerospace industry. If we do not quickly see large-scale government intervention and a strategy, we will severely damage the long-term health and resilience of major companies and SMEs in the sector, losing our leading global position while competitors who have intervened with an overall supportive strategy move ahead.

...then email them now

Just enter your postcode in the box and search. Once found, chose the option to send the message to your MP, then enter your name and address along with the message. Remember you can use the drafted model letter, but it’s much more powerful if you write your own.

Look up who is your MP...

Enter your postcode


Look up who is your MP...


{{person.TypeOfMember}} for {{person.Represents}}

{{person.TypeOfMember}} for {{person.Represents}}

  • {{person.TypeOfMember}}: {{person.FullName}}
  • Party: {{person.PartyAffiliation}}
  • Tweet to: {{person.Twitter}}

Please enter a valid email

Please enter your address

Read the Acuity Aerospace report

Browse Aloud