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Defence and Security Strategy

In the week the UK’s Industrial Strategy was announced, Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin met with Boeing International president Marc Allen to mark the successes of a joint initiative to build UK prosperity and growth agreed last year.

The MOD and Boeing are working together to build UK prosperity, growth, and exports across the country. As part of their commitment to the UK, Boeing signed the UK aerospace industry’s Supply Chain Competitiveness Charter, which is designed to strengthen relationships between companies and their suppliers, so that they work together more effectively to raise UK productivity and competitiveness.

Highlights of the joint initiative so far include:

• A new commercial airline hangar to be constructed at Gatwick airport, supporting more than 100 jobs

• Collaboration on a new £100m P-8A operational support and training base at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, creating more than 100 new jobs

• Boeing facilitated a visit to Seattle for 37 UK suppliers to deepen their relationships with Boeing driving enhanced prosperity in the UK

• Training courses for UK suppliers on how to win additional business with the company, further enhancing the competitiveness of the UK supply chain

• Education partnerships with the Royal Academy of Engineering and the RAF Air Training Corps in Northern Ireland, which reached more than 5,000 young people in the UK last year

Minister Harriett Baldwin said: "Britain’s defence industry plays a key role delivering an economy that works for everyone. Across the UK, Britain’s defence companies provide highly skilled, well-paid jobs with world class manufacturing exports. Boeing expects to increase their UK workforce by 50% by 2020. This joint initiative is a prime example of the cutting edge, high-skilled, job-creating investment that our industrial strategy seeks to harness to make Britain one of the most competitive places in the world to innovate, build businesses and deliver secure, long-term prosperity for all.

The government’s Industrial Strategy will seek to make fresh choices about how the UK shapes its economy and presents an opportunity to deliver a bold, long term Industrial Strategy that builds on strengths and prepares for the years ahead. Following a period of consultation, the government intends to publish an Industrial Strategy white paper in 2017 that will set out the plan for full and long term delivery."

Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, said: "Boeing’s partnership with the UK, which dates back to the 1930s, goes from strength to strength today. Boeing values the UK’s aerospace and defence capabilities. In both 2015 and 2016 Boeing in the UK hired, on average, a new employee per day and our relationship with the UK supply chain today has more than doubled in value since 2011.

This growth continues in 2017 and beyond, with further significant announcements to follow in the future, building on our initiative’s achievements already in place.

There is much more to come from the strategic prosperity initiative. During their meeting Minister Harriett Baldwin and Marc Allen looked ahead to the next six months of collaboration:

• Boeing will increase bid opportunities for UK suppliers and work with the government to enhance UK competitiveness. The aim is for UK companies to double their supply work with Boeing and win higher proportions of content on future Boeing aircraft.

• Boeing will make the UK its European base for training, maintenance, repair and overhaul across its defence fixed-wing and rotary platforms.

• Boeing will make the UK a base for defence exports to Europe and the Middle East, increasing UK employment and investment.