Space course lifts off at town college

STUDENTS at Loughborough College could go to infinity and beyond thanks to the launch of the first ever higher apprenticeship in space engineering.
The Minister for Skills and Enterprise MP Matthew Hancock visited the college to take a look first-hand at a programme the college says “will meet the demands of an industry which already employs around 30,000 and contributes over £9bn to the nation’s economy.”
The pioneering programme follows the success of the Loughborough College and National Space Academy’s 16 plus Space Engineering course.
Mr Hancock said: “Space Engineering Apprenticeships are a great launch pad for a stratospheric career.
“Since becoming Skills Minister I have said that I want the new norm to be for young people to choose to go to university or become an apprentice.
With the introduction of exciting and new apprenticeships like this, it is becoming a reality.
“Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, I would like to encourage young people to think about a career in this stimulating and fast moving sector.
“I’m sure there will be opportunities for apprentices working in this sector to be involved in some innovative and exciting projects.”
Dr Martin Killeen, head of technology at Loughborough College, said: “Delivered through partnerships between education providers including Loughborough College, the National Space Academy and the University of Leicester and the space industry companies employing the trainees, the programme will target locations across England where demand is greatest.
“Significant issues have been identified regarding graduates emerging from university without the skills mix required for space engineering.
“We have worked extensively with the space industry to develop our Higher Apprenticeship programme to ensure it combines both the work-based skills and the knowledge which meet employers’ needs.
“This Higher Apprenticeship addresses the lack of high-level entrants into the space engineering industry, with its ageing staff demographic.
“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.
“The Higher Apprenticeship will provide a route into a huge range of potential roles in the space industry both in the UK and internationally.”