ONE of Lancashire’s biggest employers accounts for almost one per cent of all UK exports, it has been revealed.

An Oxford Economics report has shown BAE Systems is one of the most productive companies in the UK, with labour productivity levels almost 80 per cent higher than the national average.

It shows the aerospace giant contributed £11billion to the UK economy, around 0.6 per cent of GDP.

BAE Systems Chairman, Sir Roger Carr, said: “BAE Systems plays a critical role in ensuring the security and prosperity of the UK and we prioritise investment in skills, capital and technology to support our continued growth in productivity and exports.

“We recognise our responsibility to support wider industry and the positive role we can play in addressing the UK’s productivity challenge.

“We are proud to work with the thousands of UK companies across our supply chain on some of the world’s most complex engineering programmes and together we create skilled jobs, develop new technologies and play our part in driving prosperity in regions across the UK.”

The report also showed almost two thirds of BAE Systems’ staff are employed in engineering or engineering related roles, with more than 1,600 apprentices and just under 500 graduates in training as of last month.

It was announced earlier this year almost 1,400 jobs are to be axed over five sites, including Samlesbury and Warton over the next three years.