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The UK aerospace sector spans 2,920 employers and 91,781 employees collectively, making the UK an operations hub to many of the world's largest aerospace manufacturers. These include Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

The sector has an aging workforce with 23% of employees aged over 55 and 53% aged over 45. Another area of note is the number of employees who have completed apprenticeships. In comparison to other industries, a higher than average percentage of aerospace sector employees have done so (35%).

With order books being filled years in advance, the aerospace sector maintains strong links with the UK. Regardless of what happens with Brexit, it is unlikely that the sector’s large scale employers will make a wholesale move away from the UK in the medium-term. Semta predicts that this indicates the sector will require a suitable policy mix in order to sustain and safeguard its skills pipeline to meet the projected need.

As technology progresses, it is highly likely that the aerospace sector will become more digitalised. it is probable that workers at all levels will need to be digitally literate. With the introduction of T-Levels it is hoped that the new style of qualifications will include an element of digital training to coincide with the launch of the National Retraining Scheme ensuring that employees are equipped to digitally re/upskill. A recent Cranfield University research report states that robotics and artificial intelligence as a key area of technical skill shortage.

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