New apprenticeship to support booming space sector

Posted on 18 Mar 2013

Semta has launched the first ever Higher Apprenticeship in Space Engineering.

The space sector is expected to triple in size and be worth £30 billion in less than two decades.

The apprenticeship will form a pathway within Semta’s Higher Apprenticeship in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering this summer. It will include the Level 4 Extended Diploma in Research and Development and a foundation degree in Space Engineering.

Sarah Sillars OBE, Semta’s chief executive, said: ”For employers in this growth market, the apprenticeship will provide a vital tool to develop the space engineers and technicians of tomorrow. And space will capture the imagination of young people who still don’t understand the excitement and reward offered by careers in modern engineering.”

Developed by Loughborough College in association with the National Space Academy, the apprenticeship is designed to meet the demands of an industry that already employs around 30,000 and contributes over £9 billion to the nation’s economy, with work-based, degree-level training.

Science minister David Willetts commented: “The UK space industry is a major success story. To build on this achievement we need to maintain a good supply of talented scientists and engineers. This new Higher Apprenticeship is the first of its kind. It will provide people with the advanced skills and knowledge to drive growth and innovation in the space sector, keeping Britain ahead in the global race.”

David Parker, chief executive of the UK Space Agency, added: “Space is big business for the UK and can offer our young people interesting and fruitful careers. Programmes like the Higher Apprenticeship in Space Engineering will help us to nurture the next generation of scientists and engineers, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to boost both our growing space sector and the whole economy.”

The Government recently pledged an extra £60 million to the UK Space Agency for Europe’s space programme, bringing the UK’s total investment in the European Space Agency to an average of £240 million per year over the next five years.


Photography courtesy of Bruce Irving.