Scotland National Strategy for Economic Transformation: industry leadership groups and sector groups - evidence

This paper provides summary evidence received from Scotland's industry leadership groups and other economic sector groups as part of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation engagement process.

1. Aerospace and Defence Industry Leadership Group

Figure 1.1: Turnover and GVA of the Scottish Aerospace Sector [1]
Figure 1.2: Employment in the Scottish Aerospace Sector [2]

Industry Aspirations to 2030

The industry’s aspirations to 2030 are to:

  • raise turnover by £38 million a year by 2025 – from £1.1 billion baseline, and to raise employment by 750 a year – from 14,125 in 2020 to target of 16,700 by 2035;
  • position the UK aerospace industry to become a world leader in sustainable aircraft technology and to strengthen supply chains, create green jobs and develop skills around the UK;
  • achieve at least a 15% reduction in net UK aviation emissions on 2019 levels;

Industry Opportunities

The industry sees opportunities:

  • in capturing a large part of the ‘new aerospace and aviation net zero market’ through Scotland’s existing energy expertise, natural resources and associated energy ecosystem, industrial strength, academic support and investment in growth deals supporting regional strengths and ambitions;
  • to deliver diverse projects across the country that could benefit from the Sustainable Aviation Test Environment initiative’s first low-carbon aviation test centre at Kirkwall and the Ayrshire Growth Deal’s ambition to deliver an aerospace decommissioning project. Scotland’s aerospace sector has both the structures and the experience to make rapid progress in the next decade; and,
  • to grow new markets of Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) for both urban and rural use, and the use of UAVs for sustainable monitoring, space activity and potentially in other areas.

Industry Challenges

The complex environment for the sector results in a diverse set of issues to be addressed. These include:

  • having the leadership to clearly articulate and direct action;
  • increasing uptake, breadth and exploitation of R&D. The aerospace and aviation sectors need to improve performance in this area and draw on innovation and best practice from neighbouring sectors;
  • stronger supply chains;
  • skills shortage, which is anticipated get worse with increasing demand for technical skills; and,.
  • making growth of the sectors environmentally sustainable.

Ongoing and Planned Activity for Industry

The ILG has a number of initiatives in place, including: sectoral initiatives to address key drivers and enablers growth. For example, the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme is specifically designed to encourage collaboration across organisations in the area of R&D and the Engineering Skills Leadership Group is addressing the sectors skills needs. Others include the Engineering Research Pooling, National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) and much more:

  • growing international investment, establising domestic leading companies and diverse supply chains to seize transformational economic opportunities that will deliver both jobs and environmental improvements; and
  • accelerating the delivery of Jet Zero ambitions by developing a zero carbon emissions aircraft within a generation.



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