Cameron backs initiative for UK defence sector growth
The new document, Securing Prosperity – a strategic vision for the UK Defence Sector, identifies the sector’s core strengths and sets out how government and industry will work together to maximise the UK’s competitive advantage to boost British jobs, trade and growth.
The defence industry directly employs 155,000 people in the UK, generating £22.1bn turnover for the economy and is the number one exporter of defence equipment and services in Europe and number two worldwide. In addition, the industry indirectly employs a further 145,000 in the supply chain.
The long-term partnership between government and industry looks to create new business opportunities for exports and inward investment, support new skills and generate new jobs in companies of all sizes.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Britain’s defence industry is a national success story that we are right to take pride in. Across the country, British engineers, scientists, apprentices and manufacturers are working to ensure that our armed forces have the best equipment in the world.
“But as well as making an essential contribution to our national security, the industry is vital to economic growth too — with well over 100,000 people employed and a turnover of £22 billion a year.
“The Defence Growth Partnership sets us and industry a joint challenge to deliver a long-term strategic vision to maintain our position on the leader board — maximising opportunities for British business and further strengthening the economy.”
The next step outlined in the report is to establish a joint Value Chain Competitiveness Team, which aims to identify ways to enhance the global competitiveness of the UK’s defence value chain; identify how to foster competitiveness and innovation in the UK supply chain and provide increased market access for the SME community; examine the UK defence sector to ensure competitiveness is not adversely affected by over capacity; and develop a strategic plan to harness and exploit examples of best practice throughout the sector.
The strategy looks set to provide a major boost to the confidence of those working in a UK defence sector recently under pressure from budget cuts. Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of defence trade organisation ADS group, said:
“By working in partnership, government and industry have a unique opportunity to put the right mechanisms in place to capitalise on opportunities for growth.”
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