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Value of aerospace, defence, security and space sectors to UK up 50% over 10 years

The latest figures published by ADS Group reveal that the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors added £38.2 billion in value to the UK economy in 2023, a growth of 50% in the last 10 years.

Above: Kevin Craven, CEO, ADS.
Courtesy ADS

According to trade association ADS, figures highlight a 40% growth in turnover for businesses in these sectors, reaching a combined £88.4 billion in 2023.  

With almost half of industry turnover generated through exports, ADS figures highlight 32% growth in exports to total £38.7 billion in 2023 (v2013).  

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Providing jobs and prosperity throughout the UK
Employment across aerospace, defence, security and space is up a third (29%) on 2013 figures, reading 427,500 in 2023. 23,000 of these jobs are apprenticeships, with two thirds of jobs located outside of London and the South East.  

Commenting on the latest data, Kevin Craven, CEO of ADS Group said: “ADS sectors are at the heart of UK advanced manufacturing and innovative digital services. Our true value extends beyond our economic footprint, underpinning UK society, families and our way of life.

“Our latest publication highlights a 50% increase in the value add they have contributed to the UK over the last 10 years. Providing 427,500 jobs throughout the UK – an increase of one third on 2013 figures – our industries deliver on UK prosperity and innovation, providing a hub for advanced manufacturing and driving our decarbonisation agenda.”  
 
Underpinning the UK economy
Aimie Stone, Chief Economist at ADS Group said: “The latest figures reflect the continued buoyancy, resilience and economic resolve that our sectors continue to deliver to the UK. Despite a global pandemic stalling manufacturing productivity, an ongoing critical skills gap, and demand outstripping capacity, we are still seeing strong long-term growth indicators as we continue through 2024.  

“With average productivity of £89,300 per worker, over 400,000 jobs created and exports worth almost £39bn, the immense value of these sectors for the UK economy is simply undeniable.”

Value add of aerospace sector grows 16% to reach £19.9 billion in 2023
Ahead of Farnborough International Airshow, ADS has also published its 2024 Aerospace Sector Outlook, showcasing a value add of £10.9 billion to the UK economy, an increase of 16% compared to 2013 figures. The figures highlight 104,000 direct jobs in the aerospace sector, with a median salary of £48.7k – 39% higher than UK average, with the vast majority (88 percent) located outside of London and the Southeast.

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Stone said: “Despite the lasting long and short-term impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, it continues to add huge value to the UK economy. Productivity per worker now totals £104.8k with those employed paid an average of £48.7K -  39% higher than UK average.”

Responsive nature of sector to external threats drives increase in socioeconomic value of defence
The UK’s defence sector has continued to remain agile considering an increasingly challenging geopolitical environment, as highlighted by the publication of the 2024 Defence Outlook from ADS.  

The sector generates 164,000 jobs in the UK, with that number having grown 16% between 2013 and 2023. The average salary in the sector is £39.9k, 14% higher than the UK average.

Kevin Craven, CEO of ADS said: “The true value of our defence sector – providing safety, security and prosperity throughout the UK – cannot be quantified.”

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