Truro and Penwith College will be opening the doors of its brand-new £7 million ‘Valency’ training centre next month at a free launch event for space and aerospace businesses in Cornwall.

The launch event (July 2) will be the first opportunity for businesses to meet the college’s Cornwall Space and Aerospace Technology Training (CSATT) team, tour state-of-the-art facilities that rival the best in the UK and explore how the project will boost the sector.

In collaboration with businesses and educators, CSATT is developing training courses to help businesses and individuals reach new heights in support of the long-term success of the sector that is expected to add £1 billion to the Cornish economy.

The project’s specialist training courses will include higher-level apprenticeships, short courses and degrees that will support growth, boost employment and fill skills gaps for local businesses, while providing those working in the sector, and those wanting to enter the sector, with the skills needed to enjoy successful space and aerospace careers.

Training development is supported by sector experts Goonhilly Earth Station, Spaceport Cornwall and Aerospace Cornwall, with further support from the University of Exeter, University of Leicester, and the Open University.

The training is expected to span many areas of the sector, from precision manufacturing to artificial intelligence for earth observation, satellite communications and horizontal launch. The skills developed will directly support live projects such as Spaceport Cornwall’s first ever orbital satellite launch, that is expected to create 150 immediate jobs, with the potential for thousands more in the long term.

The project at Truro and Penwith College is led by project manager, Heidi Thiemann, an experienced space sector educationalist who has worked in the emerging space skills domain for over five years, launching the Space Skills Alliance where she analysed skills demands, created skills taxonomies and ran the first national census of the UK space sector.

She said: “The Cornish space economy is growing rapidly, and we need people with the right skills to keep that growth going. Through CSATT, we’re going to provide that world-class space training to ensure that businesses and individuals are supported and given exciting career opportunities.”

The Valency building recently opened as part of the college’s partnership in the South West Institute of Technology, a Government-led project to equip the British workforce with skills required across key sectors and is a state-of-the-art engineering and technology hub.

Those representing a Cornish business who want to attend the free launch event or find out more about the project are encouraged to get in touch with Heidi at heidit@truro-penwith.ac.uk or visit www.truro-penwith.ac.uk/lift-off.  

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