Labour MEPs call for continued EU investment to support aerospace jobs in UK

Labour MEP, Dame Glenis Willmott, hosted a top level European Aerospace event calling on the EU and the aerospace industry to work together to protect UK jobs in the aerospace sector.

Today’s event was attended by top decision makers in the aerospace sector including the most senior EU official for aerospace as well as Rolls-Royce and Airbus representatives.

Dame Glenis Willmott MEP said:

“The EU invests millions of pounds into research and development in the UK aerospace sector. We want to ensure that this funding continues, to ensure that the UK is a key player in the industry and that we keep thousands of highly skilled jobs in the UK.

“The Rolls-Royce Derby site in my constituency supports 1 in 11 jobs in the local area. Protecting these jobs is critical for the local community and EU funding and support is crucial.”

The aerospace sector generates thousands of highly skilled jobs in the UK. The biggest employer, Airbus Group, is responsible for 15,000 direct jobs, 100,000 supported jobs and have 4,000 UK businesses in their supply chain.

Natalie Errand, Senior Vice President for the Airbus Group, said:

“Europe needs stronger cooperation of all its players – industry, trade unions, EU Institutions, member states – to keep the European aerospace success story alive. In times of turmoil and increased competition from abroad, we all have to stick to our commitments and increase our pace”.
Ian Waddell, National Officer – Aerospace & Shipbuilding, Unite the Union, said:

“Recent redundancies in the UK have had a negative impact on morale. I am in Brussels to ask what the EU plans to do to protect this industry from competition from India and the Far East.

“I was pleased to hear that the EU is committed to continuing to invest millions of pounds into research and innovation, but we need to ensure that manufacturing is also taking place in the UK.”