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Industrial Strategy: Aerospace Sector

Volume 650: debated on Thursday 6 December 2018

As part of the industrial strategy, the Government are committed to making the most of the UK’s strengths, so we can be at the forefront of emerging technologies and industries in the years ahead.

The aerospace sector is a leading industrial sector for the UK with particular strengths in the design, manufacture and support of wings, engine as well as advanced systems such as landing gear and cockpit technologies. These activities are an undoubted strength of our economy; indeed, they are at the heart of the nation’s competitive advantage.

Sector deals are an extension of the Government’s close partnership with sectors such as aerospace and we are building on this through the aerospace growth partnership with this sector deal to ensure the UK maintains its leading position in the global market. This sector deal signals a joint intention to position the UK at the forefront of valuable emerging markets. It will do this by:

boosting innovation through a joint industry and government investment in the future flight challenge, with up to £125 million of funding from the industrial strategy challenge fund, which industry will match. This programme will invest in developing demonstrators of new aircraft (such as drones and other electric aircraft), new models of airspace management, new approaches to ground support infrastructure and new markets for aircraft in local areas.

expanding the successful national aerospace technology exploitation programme with joint funding from government and industry to boost research and development projects led by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

supporting SMEs in the UK aerospace supply chain to boost their competitiveness through a new productivity improvement programme.

committing the industry to embed a women in aviation and aerospace charter to increase diversity and inclusion in the sector.

enhancing the joint working between the aerospace industry and education providers to ensure a strong future pipeline of talented people are available to ensure the UK aerospace sector remains globally competitive.

The aerospace growth partnership has seen us work with industry to tackle barriers to growth, boost exports, and sustain high value jobs across the breadth of the UK. Together we have taken action to develop and implement initiatives to drive innovation, develop new product and manufacturing technologies, and to increase productivity. The sector deal is a key milestone in this relationship. It will position the industry for the future by developing new capability in exciting developments in air transportation for people and goods through the introduction of more electric and autonomous systems.

The aerospace sector has a turnover of £34.9 billion, directly employing 120,000 people, with productivity growth rates of 5% year on year. But we are not complacent. This deal will build on our strengths and set the industry on course for future success.

I will be placing a copy of the document in the Libraries of both Houses.