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Defence Equipment: Manufacturing Industries

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 100950, tabled on 8 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to retain the skills held by the UK workforce in manufacturing military equipment.

Answered on

16 October 2020

The UK defence sector supports many thousands of highly-skilled roles across the UK and many of our leading defence suppliers have programmes in place to ensure they have the right skills to deliver defence programmes. Through the Defence Suppliers' Forum, we maintain a close dialogue with industry to understand their approach to the skills the defence sector requires and as part of the Enterprise Approach we are working with industry on how best to maintain skills in the sector. In addition, the Defence Growth Partnership, a joint Government-industry initiative, considers skills in areas which enable exports and competitiveness and has developed a Systems Engineering Masters Apprenticeship, an export career pathway and a digital skills framework.

In March 2020, I launched a cross-Government review into the UK’s defence and security industrial sectors. These sectors are at the forefront of technology, creating new ways to defend against threats, and ensuring that we have the right mix of skills in the industrial base is a key part of that. Through this review we will ensure that the UK continues to have competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries that drive investment and prosperity across the Union, to underpin our national security now and in the future.