A NEW economic report has revealed that major Portsmouth employer BAE Systems, where hundreds of jobs are under threat, accounts for almost one per cent of all UK exports.
The report come weeks after the firm announced plans to cut 1,750 jobs – up to 375 in Portsmouth – across its aerospace and marine divisions.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner branded October’s announcement a ‘betrayal’ of a loyal workforce and devastatingly short sighted’
The union warned that the move would harm UK manufacturing and deprive communities across the UK of decent well paid jobs into the future.
The new report by think-tank Oxford Economics, says the aerospace and defence giant accounts for 0.6 per cent of the country’s entire economic output.
The firm has a dedicated centre of expertise in maritime services in the south of England, with 12 sites engaging in naval support services and a major hub in Portsmouth.
In the south, BAE Systems supported some 16,200 full-time equivalent jobs in 2016, equating to one in every 93.
The report revealed that it contributes £11.1bn to the UK economy.
ASV Global, a Fareham-based business, has been working closely with BAE Systems in the south.
Senior director of business development Dan Hook said: ‘Working with BAE Systems has opened up a number of opportunities for us as an SME.
‘It’s given us a platform to further develop our autonomous technology and leverage knowhow,
‘We’ve been able to test and develop new military applications as well as gain access to new customers and markets.’
Paul Everitt, chief executive of ADS, a trade organisation representing aerospace, defence, security and space industries said: ‘Productivity is a national challenge, but this report shows that companies like BAE Systems who invest in skills and technology are making great strides forward.
The UK defence sector has seen productivity rise by 23 per cent since 2010 compared to three per cent in the economy as a whole, and BAE Systems is playing a key role in that vital success story.
‘With almost 9,000 companies in its supply chain right across the UK, the economic impact of BAE Systems’ success both at home and overseas is felt on a truly national scale.’