The UK Aerospace Innovation and Growth Team’s leadership council met in March to assess progress made towards delivering a skills supply chain for technical roles

Earlier this month the Aerospace Innovation and Growth Team (AeIGT) leadership council met to discuss progress since its formation last year.

The organisation is chaired by Alun Michael MP, minister for industry and the regions, and BAE Systems chief executive Mike Turner, and made up of representatives from the aerospace industry, the government and academia. It is responsible for ensuring the competitiveness of the UK industry over the next 20 years, and charged with improving productivity, skills and investment in the UK aerospace industry.

The AeIGT’s report said that progress has been made in funding the National Aerospace Technology Strategy, the national plan for improving competitiveness and productivity.

It also said that the industry was becoming increasingly engaged in influencing the training and skills agenda.

The report cited training and skills initiatives that are beginning to bear fruit in attempting to combat current and potential future personnel shortages in key areas of the UK industry:

■ Establishment of the Aerospace Training Directors Committee and Aerospace Training Providers Working Group. These organisations will develop closer relationships between the industry and the leading academic institutions that supply them with staff.

■ An inaugural national workshop on skills and training for aerospace in the regions was held last year and was significantly over-subscribed. A follow-up event for 150-200 people will be held at Smiths Aerospace in Cheltenham later this month.

■ A Careers in Aerospace website, to attract emerging talent into UK aerospace, is under development.

■ Industry sponsors and supporters have been found to aid with this work and in providing a careers presence at this year’s Farnborough air show, including AgustaWestland, Bombardier and Rolls-Royce.

■ The group is collaborating with the Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance, which last year proposed a sector skills agreement on how to help develop technical skills in the UK. The AeIGT will work on delivering the agreement and developing a national manufacturing skills academy.

■ It is also exploring how to retain engineering talent through redeployment, via organisations such as the Midlands Engineering Industry Redeployment Group.

■ It is developing a skills supply chain for the industry.

The report says the group’s biggest future challenge is to create a more effective voice for the people management and skills issues of the industry, both with government and other key stakeholders and from within the industry generally.

Source: Flight International