At the heart of the Government’s National Security Strategy of 2015 and the National Security Capability Review of 2017 is the vision of a “secure and prosperous United Kingdom, with global reach and influence”. Helping the Government to achieve this goal is the UK’s fast-growing Security and Resilience sector.
This sector develops and supplies capabilities that protect the UK and its citizens, both at home and internationally. Whether it is services and products that are designed to cut crime or prevent terrorism, or technologies that protect the UK’s cyber-sphere, industry plays a central role in delivering security at home, abroad and online. However, while there is much to cheer, this is not an industry that is resting on its laurels.
There has been a surge in sectoral growth, with turnover at £13.3bn, 142% higher than it was in 2010. On the international front the UK now exports £5.2bn worth of security products and services, an increase of over 10% from 2017. It is also now responsible for directly employing 114,000 people in a wide range of skilled, well-paid roles, and it takes its responsibility to our future generation seriously, employing 3,000 apprentices.
One of the unusual aspects of the UK’s Security and Resilience sector is the composition of its companies. Over 90% of ADS members in this sector are SMEs, which is central to its innovative approach. By way of example, cyber-security is a relatively young market and one with plenty of space to grow. However, the UK is already taking full advantage, with over 800 companies competing to make the UK digitally secure. This sub-sector is also experiencing global success, as the single largest section of the UK’s fast-growing security exports.
The industry not only works to make the UK more secure and prosperous, but it also strengthens the UK’s global reach. Based on the UK’s successful experience running the 2012 London Olympics and many other major events as well, the UK’s Security and Resilience sector is providing technological measures and expertise to international major events such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It also helps to keep UK residents safe when they travel abroad with sophisticated aviation security technologies at key airports – over 70 million such visits were protected in 2018.
While this sector is ready and eager to compete internationally, it also takes its responsibility to work collaboratively in the national interest very seriously. Through the Security and Resilience Growth Partnership, which brings together Government, industry and academia to demonstrate the UK’s security expertise and capabilities, this sector will continue to help maintain a secure and prosperous United Kingdom.