Thank you for contacting me about the challenges facing the aerospace industry.
I appreciate that this is a particularly challenging time for many working in aerospace and I sympathise with anyone facing redundancy as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aerospace is an important strategic sector of the UK economy and I am concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on the industry. I therefore welcome the support which the Government is putting in place, which is on top of the longer-term assistance delivered through the Aerospace Growth Partnership.
I am pleased that the Government is providing targeted assistance to firms, in addition to the £2.16 billion of loans that have been paid to airlines and aerospace companies through the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Finance Facility to support businesses affected by loss of funding. Current sector-specific assistance includes the provision of £450 million research and development funding through the Aerospace Technology Institute, as well as the establishment of the Jet Zero Council to oversee the UK’s mission to produce the first zero carbon transatlantic passenger jet.
I will continue to raise industry-specific concerns with Ministerial colleagues to ensure they are aware of the issues surrounding the sector and employees.
As you may know, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is helping businesses to retain staff and reduce the need for redundancies, but I do acknowledge that this is sadly not always possible. Information on redundancy rights can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/redundancy-your-rights.
Over £6 billion of support has gone to the aviation and aerospace sector, which I hope will protect the industry and jobs. I will continue to monitor the situation closely.