in Aerospace / Defence

UK aerospace and defence suppliers urged to invest in talent

Posted 2 February 2024

As we approach National Apprenticeship Week 2024 (5th-11th February), Simon Weston, the Managing Director of ASG Group in Stockport, is advocating a bullish approach with strategic investment to secure and retain top-tier talent and position UK aerospace and defence suppliers for future success.

Courtesy ASG Group

The aerospace sector has historically been a cornerstone of the UK's industrial prowess, contributing significantly to the nation's economic growth and technological innovation. However, the pandemic-induced lull tested the resilience of the industry, exposing vulnerabilities in global supply chains and intensifying competition for skilled talent.

Simon Weston (above), who has steered ASG Group through the turbulent recent years following the COVID-19 pandemic, recognises the imperative for businesses to adopt a proactive stance, emphasising the need for UK aerospace and defence suppliers to embrace a spirit of boldness and continue investing to stay ahead of the curve: "The forecasted aerospace boom presents a golden opportunity for our industry to reclaim its position as a global leader.

"To seize this moment, we must be unyielding in our commitment to innovation, resilient in the face of supply chain disruptions and strategic in acquiring and retaining top-tier talent. Such is the demand of continuing to serve exciting packages of work with world class customers. This is why we have added to the ASG family at the end of 2023 by bringing Produmax into the ASG Group to further grow our machining capabilities."

The pandemic-induced disruptions unearthed vulnerabilities in global supply chains, prompting a re-evaluation of traditional sourcing strategies. Weston suggests that diversification and strengthening of local supply chains are pivotal to mitigating risks associated with geopolitical uncertainties and sudden disruptions.

Accordingly, ASG Group has been forging strategic partnerships and investing in advanced technologies to enhance the resilience of its supply network through continued plant investment and acquisition.

However, the challenges extend beyond the supply chain. Access to skilled talent has become an increasingly pressing concern, as the industry experiences a surge in demand for specialised skills. With a keen eye on talent acquisition and retention, Weston underscores the importance of fostering a culture of continuous learning and development between organisations.

Simon said: "We are not just competing with our industry peers for talent, we are competing with sectors that are equally hungry for the skills our industry demands.

"Investing in training programmes, fostering partnerships with educational institutions, and championing diversity in our workforce are essential steps to ensuring a robust pipeline of talent for the future."

Simon remains optimistic about the potential for growth: "The challenges are real but so are the opportunities. It's about being bold, agile and innovative in our approach. By doing so, we not only safeguard the future of our businesses but also contribute to the broader success of the UK aerospace and defence sector."

ASG Group is a collection of aerospace companies headquartered in Stockport, UK, specialising in the design, development and production of aircraft parts, components and systems. The company operates in various sectors, including defence, civil aviation and space, with a workforce of over 400 employees delivering high-quality products and services worldwide.



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