Aim For The Stars With A Space Engineering Apprenticeship

In the very first of its kind to receive government approval, apprentices can now launch their careers into orbit with a new Space Engineering Technician apprenticeship that has been developed by the University of Leicester to support the UK Space Industry.

According to This Is Money, the apprenticeship has been developed in collaboration between UK Space Agency, Airbus and the University of Leicester, and is the first to be recognised by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE).

It will provide an important route for school leavers and others to find jobs in the cutting edge sector, and allow employers to recruit and train young people in the specific skills and knowledge required by the space industry.

It is estimated that the UK will need 30,000 new recruits during the next 15 years to support its rapidly growing activity in space.

The programme plans to offer training at Space Park Leicester, due to open in 2021, which will create a new regional cluster in the UK, integrating academia with industry.

Dr Nigel Bannister, Associate Professor in the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said the faculty was delighted to be playing an integral role in developing the qualification and ensuring that recruits receive the right training for the industry.

“The international space sector is undergoing a major transformation as space becomes more accessible, and this new standard enables employers to recruit people with the skills needed to sustain and grow their business and ensure their workforce is trained in the latest technologies and techniques,” he added.

The Space Engineering Technician apprenticeship launches in January 2021 and aims to make sure the UK develops the talent required by the UK space industry to continue its growth. Eligible companies could benefit from up to £19,000 of funding from the government through the apprenticeship levy.

The UK space sector is thriving, generating £14.8 billion and employing 42,000 people, as well as supporting a further £300 billion of economic activity through the use of satellite services.

Space Park Leicester will play an integral role in the future of the UK space industry. It is an initiative being developed by the University of Leicester in collaboration with local, national and international partners including Leicester City Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.

The university will provide academic leadership for the Trailblazer Group of space sector employers, who have worked to develop the apprenticeship standard.

The Trailblazer Group is headed by Airbus and includes the UK Space Agency and some of the most significant and innovative large employers and SMEs in the industry.

The University of Leicester is a founding member of the Trailblazer Group, combining 60 years of heritage in space research and exploration, as well as its expertise in delivering training courses that cover the wide breadth of space science and engineering, to help support and deliver the apprenticeship.

This will include helping to define the specific knowledge and skills training which apprentices will need in their course, and ensuring that apprentices demonstrate the required academic standards before they complete their training.

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