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Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to (a) maintain and (b) maximise the UK's capability within the aerospace sector. (78625)

The Government are working in partnership with the aerospace industry on implementing the agenda set by the industry-led Aerospace Innovation and Growth Team report in 2003. This established a vision for the future success of the industry that by 2022,

"The UK will offer a global Aerospace Industry the world's most innovative and productive location, leading to sustainable growth for all its stakeholders".

The key areas of implementation work are technology, process excellence, skills, and environmental issues. This work is overseen by the Aerospace Innovation and Growth Leadership Council, which I chair jointly with Mike Turner, CEO of BAE Systems.

In regard to the defence air sector, the Government's Defence Industrial Strategy published in December 2005 provided clarity to industry on our military capability requirements, and set out a requirement to work with companies to ensure a sustainable long-term industrial base.