Driving the Productivity of UK Aerospace to Compete Globally 

The UK is enjoying a period of high employment that is, in part, the result of weak productivity. Growing the economy will require greater industrial investment and a growth in higher value jobs.

Aerospace provides a rich stream of opportunity, stimulating research and technology, capital investment, export and highly rewarding employment.

But the UK aerospace supply chain is losing market share to other countries at the rate of about £8 billion every ten years. Primes have long sourced in an international market, selecting from the most competitive and capable suppliers. They have also consolidated their supply chains to work with larger companies, who have the economy of scale and critical mass to invest and absorb risk.

Rocket fuel for receptive leaders 

So, when Sharing in Growth (SiG) was established in 2013 as a four year, £250M programme of intensive business transformation, its focus was on creating highly competitive companies to fulfil mid-size aspirations in aerospace and advanced engineering. Rocket fuel for receptive leaders, the programme is delivered on site to maximise context and impact, with the typical activities focusing on leadership, culture, lean operations, manufacturing capability and sales.

An undeniable success, SiG has supported more than 60 companies, with some 10,000 employees, and helped them secure well over £4 billion in contracts, two years ahead of schedule. This is equivalent to over 7,000 jobs so SiG is on target to safeguard 10,000 UK aerospace jobs by 2020. As a result, the government has provided additional funding, bringing the total public funding to £86 million and allowing new companies to join. Furthermore, SiG is now working with the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership to develop the competitiveness of that sector’s supply chain.

“The scale and not-for-profit structure of our Sharing in Growth programme has delivered significant value for public money,” said CEO Andy Page. “More importantly, it has adopted blue chip approaches from frontier companies like Rolls-Royce and Toyota, and shared and applied them in a wider community of ambitious companies. These practices help increase their profits so they can invest more in people, technology and capital, to move up the value chain and win a larger global market share.”

The programme’s 80 business coaches, supplemented by a bank of world-leading experts including Deloitte, IfM and NPL, help companies tackle their individually-diagnosed barriers to growth and, for many, double their turnover and remove 20% of costs.