More than 11,000 jobs and 220 supply chain firms supported by BAE Systems, new report on economic benefits says
Lancashire benefits from BAE Systems spending £70m with more than 220 suppliers and supporting 1,000 supply chain jobs, a new report says.
The latest study from Oxford Economics, based on 2020 figures, sets out the importance of the engineering giant in the county, with the aerospace and digital technology specialist directly employing 10,000 people in high value, high wage jobs.
The company’s air sector, based at Warton and Samlesbury, plays a key role in international programmes such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 Lightning, as well as working on the design of next generation combat air technologies such as Tempest.
The two county sites also house the firm's Factory of the Future scheme to drive digital and other future technologies and the training academy where hundreds of youngsters start their careers.
In Preston, BAE Systems’ Shared Services business provides central support activities for the wider UK organisation.
In addition to developing skills and technologies critical for the defence of the nation, the research highlights that BAE Systems’ operations are helping to drive increased productivity and support the Government’s levelling up agenda.
The report says that BAE Systems’ UK footprint across more than 50 sites and its extensive supply chain mean it supported 143,000 jobs across the country and contributed more than £10bn to UK GDP, equivalent to 0.5 per cent of the domestic economy.
In 2020 it made a total tax contribution of £2.7bn including more than £700m paid directly by the company.
Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems Chief Executive, said: “Our sector not only supports our national defence and security, but also provides unparalleled economic value which drives the UK’s prosperity. The investment we make in highly skilled jobs, research and development and our extensive supply chain supports thousands of companies and tens of thousands of people and the communities in which they live.”
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin MP, said: "In every region of the UK, defence is driving prosperity, protecting the economy, providing jobs and building skills.
"BAE Systems is a leading light in that progress, helping us level up the country by supporting tens of thousands of jobs as we build back better from COVID-19. Through the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy, we are deepening the relationship between government, industry and academia to bolster British innovation."
Data published in the report on BAE Systems’ contribution to the UK economy, shows that in addition to the company’s own 35,300 highly skilled UK employees, nearly 59,000 jobs are supported across the supply chain with more than 49,000 jobs supported through employee and supplier spending.
To ensure a robust pipeline of talent for the future, the company said it invested £93m in skills, training and development activities in 2020.
That included more than 2,000 apprentices and nearly 600 graduates in training across a wide range of roles.
This year, BAE Systems will recruit almost 1,700 apprentices and graduates across the country – 25 per cent up on last year and the largest intake it has offered in a single year - including almost 400 in Lancashire.