The claim was made at a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) seminar opened earlier this week by Secretary of State The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, who said: “Sharing in Growth continues to deliver exceptional results - securing contracts worth more than £3 billion, boosting productivity, creating quality jobs and helping companies grow by five times the industry average.

Image: L-R: Andy Page, Sharing in Growth; Iain Rodger, Castle; Warren East, Rolls-Royce; Yan Tiefenbrun, Castle; and Dr Bryan Jackson, Sharing in Growth

"The UK is a world leader in aerospace manufacturing and this programme is a fantastic example of our modern Industrial Strategy in action - bringing the government and industry together to build on our excellent reputation and ensure we reap the rewards of future opportunities.”

Sharing in Growth is supported by the Regional Growth Fund and by more than £150 million in private investment.

Contracts secured, thanks to Sharing in Growth, include a £80 million six-year deal between Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace and Glasgow-based Castle Precision Engineering, which was announced this week by Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East.

Thanking Sharing in Growth for their support of Castle and some 60 other aerospace suppliers, East said: “There is a national need for competitive and match-fit suppliers who are able to win work from companies like Rolls-Royce. What Castle has done is what we all do every day: look at our costs and how we can reduce them, look at how we increase the quality of what we do, and look at how – through clear leadership, technical and business process innovation – we can make our business more competitive and win more orders. Some of this we do ourselves, some of this we do with partners, including government, and the government’s funding of Sharing in Growth has made a significant difference to our supply chain, as well as to others in the aerospace sector.

“A competitive UK supply chain is at the heart of the delivery of a successful UK industrial strategy – without it we will be letting down those suppliers and the companies that depend on them. Sharing in Growth in an integral part of the UK’s industrial strategy.”

Colin Smith CBE, chair of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, a strategic partnership between government and industry, working to secure the future of the UK aerospace industry, and president of the UK aerospace, defence, security and space trade body ADS, also emphasised the importance of the UK nurturing a competitive aerospace sector.

He said: “The UK economy must maximise the benefit it takes from this sector, particularly from high value jobs and exports. Civil aerospace continues to grow at 5% per annum driven by global GDP. Competitive productivity, skills and capability are essential because worldwide competition on quality, cost, delivery and technology is incredibly fierce. Other people want to eat our lunch.

“Sharing in Growth is an integral part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership’s framework to achieve the sector’s growth ambition. To increase the UK’s share of the global market, we need investment in supply chain technology and infrastructure, but primarily in its leadership and operational capability.”

Said Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page: “Companies who we support to crack the productivity puzzle are competitive and win contracts, giving them the funds to reinvest in people, technology and growth so that they win even more business. Sharing in Growth is the UK’s largest productivity programme and has the scope and scale commensurate with the size of the challenge. Not only has Sharing in Growth been pivotal in supporting programme participants to secure £3.2 billion in contracts, over a year ahead of schedule, but we are well on target to safeguard 10,000 UK jobs by 2022, securing well over £60 of contracts for every £1 of Government investment.”