Aerospace Response Group minutes: 7 December 2020

Minutes of the meeting of the Aerospace Response Group, held on 7 December 2020.

Attendees and apologies

Scottish Government and agencies:

  • Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills - Jamie Hepburn MSP 
  • Scottish Government - Richard Rollison 
  • Scottish Government - Scott McClelland
  • Scottish Enterprise - David Leven
  • Scottish Enterprise - Chris McLean
  • Skills Development Scotland - Gordon McGuinness
  • Skills Development Scotland - William Scott


  • Wyman Gordon - Anthony Dimmer
  • Belcan - Steve Kilpatrick
  • Glenalmond Group - Jamie Mincher
  • Standard Aero - Nigel Amphlett
  • Scottish Engineering - Paul Sheerin
  • Boeing - Richard Mills
  • Woodward - Andy Marshall
  • SpiritAero - Nicola Spence
  • GE - Iain Rodger

Trade associations:

  • ADS Scotland - Warrick Malcolm
  • ADS Scotland - Stuart Gallacher
  • Scottish Engineering - Paul Sheerin


  • University of Strathclyde - Matt Maynard
  • University of Strathclyde - Sarah Jardine

Local Government

  • South Ayrshire Council - Theo Leijser
  • Renfrewshire Council - Alasdair Morrison


  • Alan Ritchie (GMB)
  • Andy Hodge (Collins)
  • David Avery (Prospect)
  • Gordon Hutcheson (RR) 
  • N Smith (Chevron)
  • Sandra Black (Renfrewshire Council)
  • Scott McQueen (PCS)
  • A Marshall (Woodward)
  • Jim Hannigan (SDS)

Items and actions

Welcome, opening remarks – Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills

The Minister welcomed members to the seventh ARG meeting and thanked them for their continued contributions. The Minister updated the Group on engagements with his counterparts in the devolved administrations including a joint letter with Unite to the Prime Minister seeking the establishment of a UK Aerospace Taskforce. An additional joint letter from the devolved administrations and ADS was sent to the Chancellor seeking a long-term commitment within the aerospace sector through the Spending Review and separate letters to BEIS and the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) to encourage the engagement of the FlyZero programme with the sector in Scotland.  

Finally, the Minister briefly updated on the establishment of the ARG Delivery Board to take forward delivery activity in line with the revised scope.  

Update of activity from ARG Delivery Board 

The Delivery Board provided a brief update on key delivery activities: the three main themes of Raising Ambition, Apprenticeships and Employment and Opportunities

i.    Virtual conferences

The Delivery Board provided an overview of the virtual conference programme, consisting of the key OEM and tier 1 suppliers scheduled for Q1 2021. The Delivery Board also reflected upon a number of events held over the past few weeks which had been well attended by the sector with generally positive feedback. 

ii.    Industry champions

The Delivery Board updated on progress in the selection of Industry Champions across the priority areas of Diversification into Defence and Space, Sustainable Aviation and Aircraft Decommissioning. Interviews for the roles were due to take place this week with the aim of having all Champions in place to start at the beginning of 2021. 
iii.    Skills

The Delivery Board updated that the National Training Transition Fund (NTTF) had recently been launched by Scottish Government to support training activities up until 31 March 2021. Funding had been secured through NTTF to support aerospace companies through an aerospace training aid fund being delivered by SE and activity being delivered through the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland to support Industry 4.0 and training in electrification and aircraft decommissioning. Additionally a pilot programme would be undertaken to test the applicability of the Grey Matters programme to the aerospace sector.


  • opportunities to be promoted through the aerospace sector

Capital fund challenge

The Delivery Board advised that a modest amount of capital funding could be made available across the next two financial years to support recovery through a capital challenge fund. The Delivery Board outlined its desire to see this funding support the priority areas of the ARG including the transition to sustainable aviation and would explore the potential for collaboration with the ATI and others to further increase the total funding available.  

Manufacturing and recovery plan

The Group was made aware of the Scottish Government’s Manufacturing Recovery Plan that was published on 4 December. The Minister encouraged Group members to participate in the consultation exercise in order to help shape the development of the plan which proposes a set of actions for delivery over the next 12 months that have been designed with industry, public sector, trade union and academia.


  • Scottish Enterprise to circulate the Manufacturing Recovery Plan to the group

Summary of discussion and agreed actions

The Minister noted the encouraging progress being made through the Delivery Board and thanked all ARG members for their continued efforts and contributions.

Date of next meeting

A meeting date will be issued to the group.

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