Westminster Business Forum

The future of UK aerospace following the Sector Deal - evolving markets, investment and the future shape of the industry

Morning, Wednesday, 3rd July 2019

Central London


This conference follows publication of the Aerospace Sector Deal and will focus on what will be needed from the partnership between government and the industry to deliver on the ambitions in the Deal and support continued growth - including in the number of high-skilled, high-value jobs - and position the UK at the forefront of developing future technologies.

The Future Flight Challenge commits up to £125m to the aerospace sector to research and engineer new technologies and infrastructure, which industry will match to a total investment of up to £250m.

Delegates will discuss how this investment should be used by aerospace manufacturers to research and engineer new technologies which meet the global shift in future mobility needs for electric aircraft and those using other alternative fuels, drones and other urban air vehicles, new models of airspace management and fresh approaches to ground support infrastructure.

Attendees will look at how small and medium sized employers in the aerospace supply chain can be supported to work more effectively with large manufacturers, to accelerate development of technology and bring growth to the regions at a time when each LEP is developing their own Local Industrial Strategy.

With Brexit bringing possible supply chain disruptions and higher manufacturing costs, if imports and exports from the EU are subject to tariffs, the seminar will discuss what this means for the UK’s global position, consider priority countries for new trade arrangements and assess what more needs to be done to ensure the UK can continue to compete in a global market.

As the Sector Deal aims to support the delivery of good jobs and greater earning power for all as set out in the Industrial Strategy, further sessions will consider the collaboration required between industry, education providers and local government in order to equip the future workforce with the skills required for jobs shaped by the changing demands of the next generation of technology. 

We expect discussion on what investment is required from government to fund apprenticeships and technical education to enable a continued pipeline of talented engineers and ensure staffing needs across the sector are met.

In light of the development of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter, we also expect discussion on what needs to be done to improve diversity and gender balance in the sector.

Keynote Speaker

Colin Smith

Chair, Aerospace Growth Partnership


Dr John Morlidge

Head of Aerospace, Innovate UK

Jeremy Ridyard

Managing Director, Produmax

Chris White

Director, Institute for Industrial Strategy, King’s College London