• Further £30m committed to help UK aerospace suppliers
  • £1bn worth of contracts have been achieved
  • Additional 24 companies now being recruited to help improve their business

UK aerospace supply chain companies are being offered the opportunity to improve their productivity and competitiveness following further  funding from government and industry.

Sharing in Growth (SiG) has been granted an additional £30 million by government to help an extra 24 UK aerospace suppliers to secure jobs and contracts by introducing world class leadership, skills, business and shopfloor practices. This is being supported by up to £170 million  from industry.

Companies already on the programme have secured contracts worth just over £1 billion so far, equivalent to around 1500 UK jobs. Ultimately the programme’s goal is to safeguard 10,000 UK jobs.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:  “Aerospace is a sector where the UK has genuine world-leading capability and I am delighted that the Sharing in Growth programme, backed by industry and government, has been so effective in helping supply chain companies improve productivity, secure business and jobs.

“The UK aerospace sector supports around 230,000 jobs and a further £900million 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.”

SiG is already helping 40 companies achieve their aim of an average 50% increase in productivity. SiG’s four year transformation programmes are designed to deliver and sustain improvements so that UK firms are better placed to compete for the continuing huge growth in the aerospace sector.

SiG’s funding was welcomed by Paul Everitt, CEO of ADS Group, the UK trade association for the aerospace industry, who said: “This investment is a clear signal of the government’s confidence in the UK’s aerospace industry, its valuable economic role, and the work of SiG in delivering tangible benefits to SMEs.

“Much of the innovation that drives productivity and the ability of the UK to remain globally competitive is stimulated by SMEs.  Working with SiG, they can capitalise on their inherent agility; invest in technology, and grow the regionally important high-skill employment which makes such a vital economic contribution.”

SiG, an independent not-for-profit organisation, was established in 2013 with £50 million from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) and sponsorship in the form of Rolls-Royce expertise. The programme and its aims are also endorsed by Airbus, AgustaWestland, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, GKN and Safran and SiG has already helped secure contracts worth just over £1 billion for the first 24 firms on the programme.

Rockford Components Ltd of Suffolk, supplies interconnect systems and wiring harness assemblies to leading companies such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Thales and major export defence companies. Since joining the programme, the company has already secured more than £5 million in contracts directly related to SiG and has many millions more in the pipeline. Said Barrie Hayter, Rockford’s Supply Chain and Programmes Director:  “The service and support that Sharing in Growth has provided to us has been a great benefit. We are now able to capitalise on improvements made in Value Stream Mapping, Problem Solving, Visual Management, 5S and eliminating waste.  This has secured new contracts meaning our staff levels will rise from 220 to 270 by the first quarter of 2016.  We believe that thanks to SiG, our plans to double in size by 2018 are expected to be exceeded.”

TMD Technologies of Hayes, Middlesex employs 180 people, manufacturing microwave tubes, high voltage power supplies, amplifiers and microwave power modules for the world’s foremost radar, electronic warfare and communications systems companies – such as Thales Raytheon Systems and General Atomics. Said Helen Anderson, TMD’s Head of Business Improvement:  “We enlisted Sharing in Growth’s experts to help with productivity, international competitiveness and skills development.  SiG has significantly helped our leadership team to understand strategically how to address the competitive pressures and growth opportunities that the aerospace sector provides.”

Said SiG CEO Andy Page: “The Sharing in Growth programme is commensurate with the size of the competitive challenge facing the aerospace and defence sectors. We are on track to secure 10,000 jobs in aerospace companies by supporting them to be more productive, competitive and profitable and hence share in the ongoing growth of the sector.”

To qualify for the programme, companies should have strong growth ambitions, typically have a turnover of between £10 million and £100 million and be able to make staff available for training and on-the-job development. Companies are expected to match in kind – rather than cash – the value of the £1.2 million benefit they receive.

For example each participating company has an agreed training plan tailored to their individual needs. The RGF pays for the training while the company’s “cost” is the value of participants’ time.

Companies who meet the qualifying criteria are invited to a briefing on 2nd February 2016 at RAF Cosford Museum. They will hear how SiG’s cross-functional experts tackle areas such as lean operations, manufacturing engineering, procurement and cost and value engineering. To ensure a sustainable and fully integrated transformation programme they also work with delivery partners such as Deloitte, Unipart Expert Practices, the National Physical Laboratory, The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing and Industry Forum to provide world-class training in leadership, strategy, business planning and performance improvement.

Companies wanting to find out more about the Sharing in Growth introductory event should visit this page.