£37bn added to UK economy by aerospace and defence


The 2023 facts and figures from the trade association for the UK’s aerospace, defence security and space sectors, ADS Group, has highlighted the industries’ significant contribution to the UK economy.

The latest figures published showcase the £37bn value added to the UK economy by the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors in 2022. It further reveals that businesses delivering world-class products and services generated £82 billion in turnover, with UK exports from the sectors worth £36 billion.

The ADS data highlights the employment of 20,200 apprentices in the sectors’ workforce of 417,000. This represents a record high and is reflective of ADS members’ commitment to developing the workforce of tomorrow.

“Our 2023 Facts and Figures provide a snapshot of the vital contributions of our sectors made to the UK economy in 2022,” said Aimie Stone, chief economist at ADS Group. “Participants in the supply chain and major manufacturers have been reporting rising costs and challenges to increasing output, but at the same time, sentiment and outlook across the industries is positive, with expectations of improvements this year in output and investment terms.”

ADS’s Aerospace Outlook also showcases that 90% of the 108,000 jobs in the aerospace sector are located outside of London and the South East. In addition, with £101,000 output per worker, aerospace sector productivity is 56% higher than the economy average, delivering strategic advantage for the UK.

Welcoming the publication, Kevin Craven, chief executive of ADS commented: “Our unique, proprietary and robust data is a vital part of the work ADS does, underpinning our conversations with political and industry stakeholders. Our members span the entirety of the UK, and their contributions continue to underpin a resilient UK economy.

“Throughout 2023, it remains an ADS priority to support our members, and secure long-term UK advantage. Through our outlooks, we highlight the role of individual sectors to the UK as well as the significant business and trade opportunities available to businesses in the UK.

“Our ability to identify the strengths of our sectors is essential for the UK’s future successes and participation in international projects and programs such as AUKUS and GCAP.”

ADS Group


ADS Group

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