Plant & Works Engineering
New opportunity for UK aerospace companies
Published:  26 January, 2016

UK aerospace supply chain companies are being offered the opportunity to improve their productivity and competitiveness with a further £30 million of government funding.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has just granted Sharing in Growth (SiG) an additional £30m from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to help 24 UK aerospace suppliers to secure jobs and contracts by introducing world class leadership, skills, business and shopfloor practices.

Companies already on the programme have secured contracts worth just over £1bn so far, equivalent to around 1500 UK jobs. Ultimately the programme’s goal is to safeguard 10,000 UK jobs.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Aerospace is a sector where the UK has genuine world-leading capability and I am delighted that the Sharing in Growth programme, backed by industry and government, has been so effective in helping supply chain companies improve productivity, secure business and jobs.

“The UK aerospace sector supports around 230,000 jobs and a further £900m funding for aerospace R&D up to 2026 shows our commitment to this vital sector. As a One Nation Government, I want us to continue working with businesses so we provide the jobs and skills that will keep powering the UK aerospace industry to success.”

SiG is already helping 40 companies achieve their aim of an average 50% increase in productivity. SiG’s four year transformation programmes are designed to deliver and sustain improvements so that UK firms are better placed to compete for the continuing huge growth in the aerospace sector.

SiG’s funding was welcomed by Paul Everitt, CEO of ADS Group, the UK trade association for the aerospace industry who said: “This investment is a clear signal of the government's confidence in the UK's aerospace industry, its valuable economic role, and the work of SiG in delivering tangible benefits to SMEs.

"Much of the innovation that drives productivity and the ability of the UK to remain globally competitive is stimulated by SMEs. Working with SiG, they can capitalise on their inherent agility; invest in technology, and grow the regionally important high-skill employment which makes such a vital economic contribution."

SiG, an independent not-for-profit organisation, was established in 2013 with £50 million from the RGF and sponsorship in the form of Rolls-Royce expertise. The programme and its aims are also endorsed by Airbus, AgustaWestland, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, GKN and Safran and SiG has already helped secure contracts worth just over £1bn for the first 24 firms on the programme.