By Marcus Leach

The Government and aerospace group, the Aerospace Growth Partnership, met for the first time on Wednesday since its inception.

The group, who are tasked with tackling the issues affecting the competitiveness of the sector, will be jointly chaired by Mark Prisk, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, and Marcus Bryson, Chief Executive of GKN Aerospace and Chair of UK aerospace trade association ADS’s Civil Air Transport Board.

“Aerospace is a UK success that we should be very proud of. We are number one in Europe and number two in world with a 17 per cent global market share,” said Prisk.

“Aerospace companies in the UK directly employ around 100,000 highly skilled individuals and support many more jobs across the wider UK economy. Salaries in the sector are 36% per cent above the manufacturing average.

“This group will bring aerospace and government together so we can take action to address barriers to growth, boost exports and grow the number of highly skilled jobs available in the UK.”

Bryson said that although profits will grow if the current share of the global market is maintained, this should not be taken for granted in a competitive sector.

”If the UK is able to maintain its current global market share then aerospace will generate £352 billion over the next 20 years,” he said.

“However, we cannot take this for granted, as other nations are also seeking to expand their own aerospace industries.

“There are also fantastic opportunities for growth and the industry is determined to seize these.

“In doing so we will unlock the potential to develop more environmentally friendly aircraft. Our partnership with government is crucial to achieving this success and we welcome the commitment of BIS to this work.”

The Aerospace Growth Partnership will see government and industry working together to address the issues that affect UK competitiveness in the sector.

Its work will focus on ensuring that the UK remains an extremely attractive location for aerospace companies to carry out work both on current and future generations of civil aircraft.

The Aerospace Growth Partnership has been established to address the strategic issues identified by the Aerospace Business Leaders Group, chaired by Vince Cable, which met in December.