Aerospace to move forward

A new report on how the UK Aerospace industry can move forward over the next twenty years has been welcomed by the Government

. Mark Fletcher reports Receiving the report, from the Aerospace Innovation and Growth Team, Manufacturing Minister Alan Johnson announced £150,000 of new funding to help the sector. The money, to Amicus and the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC), will help improve partnerships between the key players in the industry. The report, which will propose final recommendations in the Spring, is the result of seven months work by the 'Aerospace Innovation and Growth Team.' The team was led by Sir Richard Evans, Chairman of BAE Systems. The report says that: - The UK Aerospace industry faces a number of challenges including fewer programmes in both civil and military sectors and environmental pressures; - The industry is currently going through massive structural change and could result in rapid industrial decline if managed poorly; - There are real opportunities for future growth. Demand for air travel is forecast to grow at an average of 4.7% a year and the UK civil market has the potential to be worth over £1,000 billion by 2022; and - There should be key targets, including being second in the world in terms of turnover and raising productivity to 5 % ahead of our benchmark competitor (USA) Alan Johnson said: "It is important that practical measures are taken to give the Aerospace industry the best possible chance of long term success. The recommendations arising from this report will help implement them because they represent the combined thoughts of real industry players. "The innovation and growth teams have been a real success in stimulating debate, not only in the aerospace industry but in other crucial sectors. The key to their success is that they're made up of all the relevant stakeholders. "I am confident that once the recommendations of the final report are taken forward the UK Aerospace industry will compete effectively across the world. In 20 years time, there will only be room for a highly skilled and innovative workforce." The new Amicus/SBAC project will do research on best practice in partnership across the industry within the UK and also abroad. This will lead to a report and finally an education programme for the whole UK Aerospace industry. Alan Johnson added: "The new partnership which will soon be forged within the industry will mean that useful practical experiences will be shared for the mutual benefit of everyone. It is the first time an education programme has been set up within the industry and it will ensure there is better synergy between all components of the sector. It is exactly the kind of practical mechanism which will ensure the long term success of the Aerospace industry."MF Department of Trade and Industry