UK security industry enjoys 18% exports rise

Posted On 21 Dec 2016
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ADS, UK trade association for the security industry, has launched data showing that export growth for the industry is into double-digits, up 18 per cent on the previous year, generating £4bn for the nation’s finances.

The latest Outlook Report shows that:

  • Europe, North America and the Middle East are the leading markets for export opportunities
  • In the list of top 20 exports (excluding cyber) access control systems, communications, and intruder alarm systems hold the top three positions by sales
  • 60 per cent of companies anticipate export growth of more than ten per cent.

According to ADS this growth is a clear indication that UK companies are developing an international reputation for agility and innovation, and are becoming increasingly relied upon to provide protection for people and businesses.

With 44 per cent of the industry’s turnover coming from exports, remaining competitive is vital for companies wishing to win business in tough international markets. 71 per cent of companies surveyed for this Outlook Report identified exports as a key driver for growth, citing North America, the Middle East and Latin America as key regions of focus.

Close collaboration with the Home Office and Department for Transport has opened up major opportunities for companies specialising in cyber, border and aviation security. Meanwhile, the Department for International Trade Defence and Security Organisation continues to provide support for companies looking to grow their share of global market opportunities.

Paul Everitt, CEO of ADS Group said: “The UK security industry is delivering public safety at home and is increasing demand abroad. Industry exports grew by 18 per cent to £4bn in the last year, providing a real boost to the economy. The UK’s skills and expertise developed through delivering major international events and densely- trafficked transport systems is in high demand around the world. The UK’s security industry saw total employment increase by five per cent to more than 121,000 high-value jobs.”

The data shows growth across a number of other areas with employment, wages and turnover all up demonstrating that year-on-year, the role of security as a major contributor to UK prosperity and security is increasing:

  • Annual turnover is up by five per cent to £9.1bn
  • Employment has risen by 5,100 to 121,100
  • Annual earnings have also risen by £4,100 to £40,200; almost double the national average.

Looking ahead, 70 per cent of those questioned said they would be increasing investment over the coming year with the priority for most companies being design and engineering, followed by sales and business development.

The figures showed that across the industry, 18,000 jobs were focused on R&D, design and engineering, and 45 per cent of companies employed apprentices or trainees.