The aerospace and defence sector in Wales employees more than 20,000 people across more than 160 businesses and is strengthening industry links through the opening of an an Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
The sector came to prominence in the country at a time when traditional industries were in decline, according to the Minister for Economy and Transport for Wales, Ken Skates. Skates explained that aerospace was “right at the heart of the community” in the north east of the country.
“The aerospace sector came in and rose at a time when the steel sector was in decline, which was incredibly important as it provided high quality jobs for high skilled people. It lead to our performance in terms of economic activity being maintained during at a difficult time.”
The Minister added that the needs of high quality skilled jobs within the industry also fed through to the country’s education system As well as college and university-based learning, there will also be 100,000 apprenticeship opportunities available during the current term of the Welsh Assembly.
He added that Wales was also taking the lead in the development of new technologies. He explained: “We will shortly be opening the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Wales in Broughton, right on the doorstep of Airbus. This will be an incredibly important facility, drawing together businesses, collaborating particularly in the field of composite technology and the development of new composites. It will power not just the aerospace sector but other sectors also dependent on composites.