THE First Minister has called on the UK Government to help tackle the crisis which faces the aerospace industry in Wales.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus press conference, Mark Drakeford said he was left “disappointed” that the UK Government did not show support for the aerospace sector when announcements were published on Wednesday, in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s plan to help the country recover from coronavirus.

The disappointment comes after industry giant Airbus said it would be cutting more than 1,400 positions at its site Broughton as part of a global effort to recover from the losses brought on by the pandemic.

Mr Drakeford said: “We welcomed a number of things that were in the Chancellor’s statement on Wednesday of this week and the measures he is putting forward to tackle youth unemployment, for example. But we were disappointed that there was no sector specific scheme for aerospace or indeed automotive in Wales.

“The Welsh Government can, and will, play a part. Our money is directed at skills, apprenticeships and research and development but the big help that this industry needs to deal with the global crisis that it faces can only come from UK Government.

The Leader: Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer

“We were hopeful, and in the ends our hopes were disappointed, that the Chancellor would have taken the opportunity to set out his plans to support the steel industry – very important in north east Wales – the automotive sector and aerospace.

“Wales has a presence of nine out of ten global leading companies in aerospace, and Airbus is the jewel of the crown. We need to see UK Government action to sustain that industry because it has a successful future in front of it, as long as we can get it through the very difficult time that is immediately in front of it.”

Similar calls for support from the central government came in the wake of the Airbus announcement on July 2 by Peter Hughes, Unite Wales regional secretary.

He previously said: “Welsh Government have committed to doing everything they can, but the financial intervention that is now required to support jobs at Broughton can only come from Westminster.

"Our calls for Boris Johnson’s Government to intervene in the crisis that is engulfing the aerospace sector have so far fallen on deaf ears.

"They can’t hide anymore, the voices of thousands of workers and their families from across North Wales and North West England are screaming for help.”