In a giant leap for mankind the UK Space Agency has just announced a brand new space technician apprenticeship designed to equip apprentices with the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in spacecraft manufacturing and satellite integration.
Lifting off in January 2021, apprentices will now be able to gain the technical skills needed "to help unlock the secrets of our solar system". During the course of their apprenticeship, apprentices will be trained in areas such as problem solving, design, spacecraft manufacturing, satellite integration and testing.
This is the first apprenticeship to be recognised by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE), and is the result of a collaboration between the University of Leicester, Airbus, and the UK Space Agency. There are also plans for the creation of a Space Engineering degree apprenticeship (Level 6) available from September 2021.
The flourishing UK Space Sector currently generates an income of almost £15 billion a year and employs over 42,000 people, with 30,000 new jobs expected to be created over the next decade. The government has also recently announced the development of new space hubs across England, and is increasing funding to support projects in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
CEO of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, Jennifer Coupland commented:
"We’re delighted to achieve lift-off with this new apprenticeship. It’s incredibly exciting to think apprentices will be given opportunities to develop and manufacture equipment for the space industry. They could one day work on anything from satellites monitoring climate change to spacecraft sent on missions to distant planets."
Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, said:
“Apprenticeships are a great way to learn the skills needed to start a career in a huge range of exciting sectors. This exciting new opportunity will play a key role in helping the UK to become a world leader in the space industry.”