The Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the Skills and Jobs Retention Group will be chaired by Allan Cook, the current chairman of SEMTA (Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies) and the former CEO of the defence system company Cobham.
The group’s remit will be to explore how skilled workers can be retained in the advanced manufacturing sector, by working with industry to redeploy affected employees to other sectors such as civil aerospace, automotive, energy and marine.
The SDSR published on Tuesday has set out how national security will be delivered both effectively and efficiently in a tough economic climate.
It included difficult decisions that will have industrial implications but it also reinforced the importance of the relationship with industry. The Ministry of Defence still expects to spend around £60 billion with UK suppliers over the next four years.
The purchase of two aircraft carriers maintains the UK’s ability to design and build complex warships, including the next generation of frigates. This will sustain some 20,000 jobs in UK shipbuilding and see investment of around £10Billion over the next 10 years.
Cable said: "The Government recognises the important contribution that the defence sector makes to the wider economy through high value jobs, intellectual property rights, export revenues and as a key sponsor of apprenticeships and training.
"I want to ensure that wherever possible we retain the talented individuals leaving the defence industry within the UK's advanced manufacturing sector which is why I am today announcing an industry led group to look at how we can help redeploy skilled engineers affected by the SDSR.
"I am delighted that Allan Cook has agreed to chair the group; he has experience of both the defence sector, wider engineering and manufacturing and is a passionate advocate for maximising skills opportunities."
This article was first published on hrmagazine.co.uk