‘End offshoring – buy UK-made aerospace or risk its future’

Unite aerospace reps meet MPs in bid to save UK skilled jobs

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Unite members from the aerospace sector are heading to parliament to meet with MPs to demand that UK taxpayers’ cash is spent on UK jobs, not siphoned offshore.

The workers, aerospace employees from Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus are warning that the lack of long-term planning and support by the government is causing insecurity right across the sector, which directly employs 114,000 highly skilled workers.

The workers and Unite, are meeting MPs today (March 30) in an effort to secure assurances that the government’s Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) funding, announced on Tuesday (March 29) will come with safeguards and be linked to the retention and creation of high skilled UK jobs in the sector, which is the second biggest player in the global aerospace sector.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “The British government has been failing aerospace workers for years. For too long there has been a lack of investment and a lack of strategy compared to the other countries we compete with.  And when it does invest in the sector it fails to get job guarantees in return for financial support.

“So, while this new ATI funding is a step in the right direction, the government now needs to make sure that it gets used properly. That means creating more high skilled jobs in the UK and keeping them here.

“We can’t accept public money being used to pay for the offshoring of UK jobs or work to France, Poland or elsewhere.  We’re still a global leader in aerospace, but we won’t stay one unless the government steps up,” she stressed.

Mark Porter, Unite convenor at Rolls-Royce Barnoldswick in Lancashire said, “Where I live, there’s not a great deal going on for younger workers wanting a decent job and a future.  But aerospace provides good, skilled work – it would be criminal to lose these jobs or fail to grasp the opportunities for future jobs because this government lacks a complete strategy for supporting the sector. 

“There’s no way the French or German governments would sit back and let opportunities to grow this sector pass them by,” he added.


Read Going for Growth – Beyond 2022 – briefing paper. It’s a workers’ vision, setting out the steps the government must take to help the aerospace sector recover, rebuild and growth for the future here.

By Chantal Chegrinec

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