UK aerospace supply chain companies are to benefit from a new injection of government funding to help them to enhance their growth and competitiveness.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has ploughed an additional £30m from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) into the Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme, which helps businesses to secure jobs and contracts by introducing world-class skills, business, leadership and shopfloor practices.

To date, companies on the SiG programme have secured contracts worth in excess of £1bn, which have generated approximately 1,500 new jobs.

Describing the UK aerospace sector as a world leader, Sajid Javid, the business secretary, said: “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.”

Welcoming the new funding, Paul Everitt, CEO of the aerospace industry’s UK trade association ADS Group, noted that much of the innovation driving productivity and British aerospace’s global competitiveness comes from SMEs. The new funding, he said, will help SMEs to capitalise on their inherent agility “and grow the regionally important high-skill employment which makes such a vital economic contribution.”

Many of these aerospace supply chain SMEs rely on the niche skills of Umbrella Company Employees and other contracting professionals when needed rather than employing such experts on a permanent basis. Reading between the lines, the new funding is likely to generate a raft of new contracting opportunities in addition to permanent roles.

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