Our contribution to 
the UK economy

Our Company plays a key role in protecting people, national security, and keeping critical information and infrastructure secure. To quantify and qualify our contribution, we asked Oxford Economics to produce an independent analysis of our contribution to the UK’s economy in 2018
Apprentice in our submarines business
Oxford Economics’ Report ‘The Contribution of BAE Systems to the UK Economy’ published in September 2019, showed that our Company:
  • contributed £9.3 billion to the UK’s GDP in 2018, contributing a total of £330 for every £100 supported across the UK’s economy
  • exported £3 billion, equivalent to nearly 1% of the UK’s total exports and contributed £2 billion to the UK’s balance of payments
  • supported 124,000 full time jobs across the UK including nearly 34,100 at BAE Systems itself
  • spent £3.7 billion with 6,000 UK suppliers
  • made a total tax contribution of £2.4 billion including £700 million paid directly by the Company
  • invested £1.2 billion in research and development on behalf of customers and partners
  • was highly productive – with each employee contributing £83,000 to the UK economy – 27% more than the national average.

A technology integrator

We are a leading technology integrator, and the UK’s fourth largest UK applicant for patents. In total our UK technologies have been granted 2,200 patents worldwide. And we have formed strategic partnerships with five universities to enhance technology capabilities:
  • Cranfield University - unmanned air vehicles, avionics testing
  • University of Birmingham - quantum sensing, virtual reality, immersive systems
  • University of Manchester - novel materials, advanced manufacturing, business skills
  • University of Southampton - sound and vibration, artificial intelligence, data fusion, maritime
  • University of Strathclyde - non-destructive testing, quantum imaging, laser systems.
Partnerships with SMEs and the automotive sector are also helping us harness the potential of disruptive technologies in our products and services. We work with Williams Grand Prix Engineering and Williams Advanced Engineering and we are a shareholder in Reaction Engines, collaborating with the team there to develop the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine – a new class of power unit that aims to change the economics of hypersonic flight. We also announced its acquisition of the Prismatic company in September 2019. This acquisition follows a joint engineering programme between the two organisations to build a unmanned aerial vehicle with a 35 metre wingspan, solar cells and long-life battery what should enable it to fly continuously for up to 12 months at a time.


Developing skills  

We are one of the UK’s largest employers of engineers, with 22,500 (66%)of our employees working in engineering or engineering-related roles. In addition, BAE Systems is training nearly 2,000 apprentices and 500 graduates across its UK business and invests £90 m per annum in skills, training and education outreach. Key activities include: a nationwide engineering roadshow for schools run with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force; support for ‘#ThisisEngineering’,  a nationwide campaign designed to challenge perceptions about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM); and the establishment of two specialist academies for training and education outreach at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria and Samlesbury, Lancashire. We also sponsor PhD students through the Industrial Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology (ICASE) programme.

Supporting economic growth

Our Company supports projects to boost economic growth and productivity throughout the UK. We are a key partner in the North West pilot scheme of ‘Made Smarter’ which aims to engage with 3,000 small and medium sized businesses to help them adopt more digital technologies and boost productivity. We also back ‘Movement to Work’, the UK’s largest employer-led collaboration hoping to reduce employment for those aged 18-30 and not in education, employment  or training. BAE Systems has committed £676,000 to the scheme since 2014. Together with the John Lewis Partnership, Siemens UK, Rolls-Royce and Lancaster University Management School, we established the ‘Productivity through ‘People’ programme to assist SMEs in improving management practises, and ultimately business productivity. To date, delegates from businesses with a combined turnover of more than £5 billion have taken part.