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ADS calls for co-ordinated action to support economic recovery and protect jobs

12 May 2020

REACTING TO the publication of the Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy for the UK, Trade Association ADS suggests that tens of thousands of jobs are at risk in the UK’s security, defence, aerospace and space industries without co-ordinated action designed to support economic recovery.

The impact of the crisis is stark for many ADS member companies. Indeed, some are carrying out consultations on potential redundancies. With this in mind, the Trade Association has devised a five-point Action Plan of key priority areas that need to be addressed immediately in Parliament:

(1) A pragmatic and proportionate plan to resume flights, working with other countries to enable travel as soon as the situation allows and protecting passengers with pre-flight checks, but avoiding the need for quarantine

(2) Extension of the Job Retention Scheme to support employees in the four sectors mentioned, which are expected to face a longer road to recovery*

(3) Rapid expansion of Government support for low carbon aerospace technology, putting the UK at the forefront of the drive to develop and manufacture more sustainable aircraft

(4) An evolution of business support that unlocks finance for essential manufacturing supply chains, making sure that SMEs receive effective financial support

(5) Government must pull forward public procurement to support jobs and cashflow, particularly so in the defence arena

Paul Everitt, CEO at ADS, said: “This crisis puts at risk tens of thousands of high value jobs across the UK, with the potential for long-lasting damage to our vital manufacturing base and also to the prosperity of communities in every part of the country. We welcome publication of the new strategy, but it's now essential that the Government works with industry to put in place the measures needed to support businesses through this challenging period and towards a return to long-term growth.”

Further, Everitt stated: “Industry is looking to Government for clear advice on safe working conditions, consistency in approach across the UK and to make sure support reaches businesses quickly so as to avoid unnecessary job losses. A rapid restart and strong recovery are going to be fundamental for protecting jobs, retaining skills and unlocking investment.”

*The Government has now announced an extension of the Job Retention Scheme until this coming October