One million training hours – but the clock is ticking for places on Sharing in Growth competitiveness programme

Sharing in Growth, the government-backed competitiveness improvement programme, has now delivered over one million training hours to the UK’s aerospace supply chain. 

And, with 50 companies recruited to Sharing in Growth (SiG), there are only ten places left to fill on the programme for ambitious companies whose turnover is at least £10 million. Those currently on SiG in the north west include ELE Advanced Technologies, Hyde Aero Products and RLC Group.  

By supporting manufacturing and maintenance suppliers to become more productive and cost-efficient, SiG has helped the first 26 companies on the programme to secure over £1.3 billion in contracts which is equivalent to 2300 UK jobs.   

Among the SiG companies winning business is Rockford Components, the UK’s largest independent provider of interconnect systems, which has secured more than £13 million in contracts and created around 100 jobs since joining the programme in 2014.

Peter Lion, managing director of Rockford Components, said: “With the support from Sharing in Growth, we have strengthened the leadership around our ambition, increased efficiencies and reduced our manufacturing costs which has given the company a greater competitive position.  A reduction in labour costs, along with improved purchasing efficiencies  and new marketing material have enabled Rockford to secure some major contracts, which has led to an increased demand on our manufacturing facilities. We have grown our workforce by 30% in 2016 and will continue to grow over the coming years.”

Established in August 2013, the SiG programme helps aerospace supply chain companies to improve their productivity and competitiveness so they are better placed to win a share of continued growth in the global aerospace market.

The suppliers participate in an intense four year training and development programme which attracts an average £1.1 million from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for each company. The activity is matched by the beneficiaries’ time and to date this private sector contribution is valued at over £40 million.

Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page said: “We are backed by all the major aerospace primes who are supporting the programme with insights into customer demand and by recommending some of the best supplier to join the programme. SiG’s effectiveness is clear as so far we’ve helped UK aerospace companies to secure £1.3 billion in orders - 20% of which is for direct export. Ultimately the SiG programme’s goal is to secure 10,000 UK jobs by 2022.” 

The programme is backed by a total of £80 million from the RGF and endorsement from Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, GKN, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Safran and Rolls-Royce, amongst others.  

Paul Everitt, CEO of ADS Group said: “The UK’s aerospace industry is well placed to benefit from the sustained growth in demand for new aircraft, but we cannot afford to underestimate the strength of international competition. The Sharing in Growth programme, a key part of the UK’s successful aerospace industrial strategy, is able to provide the help and support fast growing businesses need to ensure they stay ahead of the competition. I would urge companies to get involved and make the most of the valuable support it provides.”   

SiG creates an integrated and bespoke transformation programme founded on leadership, culture and operational excellence. SiG’s core of team of 130 cross-functional experts is integrated with deep expertise from Deloitte, Unipart Expert Practices, the National Physical Laboratory, The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing and Industry Forum who provide world-class training in leadership, strategy, business planning and performance improvement.

Companies interested in joining the SiG programme should as soon as possible complete an expression of interest form which is available at www.sig-uk.org/apply.

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