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ADS issues new warning over jobs threat in UK defence industry

Posted 9 October 2011 · Add Comment

ADS has again voiced the concern of the UK defence industry that further job losses will follow those recently announced due to both historical and recent cutbacks in defence spending.

ADS has already warned that there is the potential for 20,000 to 30,000 job losses in a sector that supports more than 300,000 jobs and is worth over £23 billion in 2010, with £9.5 billion of that coming from exports last year. The UK is number one in Europe and second only to the US in the global defence exports market with a 22% market share.

Ian Godden (above), Chairman of ADS, said: "It is becoming increasingly clear that the historic and current cuts to defence spending, which have been halved over 20 years from 10 % to 5%, are beginning to take affect. These cuts and their results are a matter of national interest and must be addressed before further impact is felt on our Armed Forces on the front line or the industrial base suffers further.

"The 10% cut in Government spending on Defence is already affecting an industry that supports 300,000 jobs - these cuts are estimated to lead to further losses of between 20 and 30,000 highly skilled UK jobs. These jobs are not focused in just one area, but are spread across the whole of the UK, frequently in areas where deprivation is already above the national average.

"Rebalancing the economy towards high technology and advanced manufacturing with strong exports and support for SMEs is a Government priority. We are heading in the wrong direction on Defence - an industry which is 10% of the UK's manufacturing and engineering base, and is a world leading export-led industry with 3,000 SMEs - more than France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Norway together.

"It is possible that these jobs will be picked up in other growth sectors, such as aerospace that is sector which has demonstrated growth during the recession. In terms of exports aerospace is the most successful of UK's manufacturing sectors, and presents the opportunity to create wealth and long term opportunities for an engineering workforce. This should not detract from the need to reinvest in defence that contributes considerably to the economy and equips our Armed Forces."

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