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Apprenticeship in "Space Engineering" launched

24 Mar 14  | Engineering |  Recruitment News

Loughborough College has launched the first-ever higher apprenticeship in space engineering.

The pioneering apprenticeship is a collaboration between the college, the University of Leicester, The National Space Centre and the UK Government.

Matthew Hancock, minister for skills and enterprise said: "Space engineering apprenticeships are a great launch pad for a stratospheric career.

"The space industry is worth £9 billion in the UK and that's growing rapidly. The UK is becoming a bigger player and technology is developing fast. That's why schemes like this higher apprenticeship are needed to ensure we have the workforce to meet demand."

The pioneering programme aims to provide students the opportunity to study at the college and space centre, in addition to having paid placements with industry related businesses.

The course, which officially gets under way in September, ultimately means that students can earn a wage, whilst studying. It also mean s that they come out with a foundation degree at the end of two years, which, with two further years of study, can become a full degree in science or engineering.

Students enrolling on the higher apprenticeship must have either an extended diploma in engineering, A-levels in maths and physics, or have some relevant industry experience.

The launch follows the success of the 16-plus space engineering course already being run by Loughborough College, now giving students the chance to progress to the higher level apprenticeship.

Dr Martin Killeen, head of technology at Loughborough College, said: "Young people who might traditionally not have had the opportunity to access this sector will now be offered the chance to work in this rapidly-growing industry. Employers will no longer have to rely on graduates and will be able to find enthusiastic and talented staff to develop and meet their specific needs."

AID: Use of technology

When you hear the term 'space engineering' you probably think of launching rockets and exploring space, but actually space engineering affects almost everything we do.

Every time you use your mobile phone or turn on the TV, it is only possible because of space technology. Space engineering helps us to find alternative routes to avoid traffic through the use of Satnavs. Without space engineers, we wouldn't have an accurate weather forecast.

In 2010/2011, the UK space industry contributed £9.1 billion to our economy and the UK Government recently announced a £240 million yearly investment plan aimed at growing the UK space sector into a £30 billion industry by 2030.

The sector offers a wide range of job opportunities.

Projects vary from working in weather forecasting, defence, telecoms, robotics, car design, lasers and software development.

It could mean supporting a mission to Mars, or assisting with the harvest of crops in communities where starvation is a real threat. In addition, it could mean overseeing the design, development and use of aircraft or spacecraft, performing wind tunnel tests on an aircraft model or designing and analysing an airplane wing.

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