Applications for the south west’s first space apprenticeship are set to open next month.
Developed and delivered by Truro and Penwith College’s Cornwall Space and Aerospace Technology Training (CSATT) project, the two-year Space Engineering Technician Apprenticeship allows learners to gain the future skills needed to work in spacecraft manufacturing and design, satellite telecommunications and rocket propulsion.
The first apprentices will join the programme in September, splitting their time between the workplace and the new £7 million Valency building, part of the South West Institute of Technology at the Truro College campus with facilities that are said to rival the best in the UK for digital, engineering and manufacturing.
The college’s University Centre is enhancing the apprenticeship with an additional HNC in Space Technology that learners will study alongside their apprenticeship at no cost.
The new HNC qualification, created through a collaboration between Truro and Penwith College, University of Leicester and Airbus Defence and Space, will complement the apprenticeship with the core knowledge, space engineering skills, techniques and understanding necessary to achieve high performance and quality careers in the global space sector.
The college is encouraging all employers in the space sector and its supply chain to work with the CSATT team to create apprenticeship vacancies and grow a highly motivated, skilled and qualified space workforce to meet the future skills need of the sector.
Heidi Thiemann, space project manager of the College’s CSATT project, said: “As opportunities in space in Cornwall continue to grow, we’re excited to know that our future students will be working at the forefront of space exploration. Our apprentices will be key to providing businesses with the next generation of skilled workers.”
Truro and Penwith College will be first in the south west, and the second in the United Kingdom to offer the new apprenticeship.
Paul Bate, CEO of the UK Space Agency, who visited the college’s Valency building in September said: “I was incredibly impressed by the college’s apprenticeship programme during my visit. There’s never been a better time to join the space sector, with the first satellite launches from the UK due to lift off this year and a range of exciting companies creating new jobs in Cornwall and beyond.
“Whatever your background, there could be a role for you, and this apprenticeship and HNC offers a fantastic route into a rewarding career in space.”
2022 is set to be a land-mark year for Cornwall’s space sector with the first apprentices starting their careers shortly after the launch of Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system, the deployment of Kernow Sat 1 and the 60th anniversary of Goonhilly Earth Station.
Cornwall’s space economy will continue to accelerate over the coming decade, with the goal of reaching a £1 billion space economy by 2030, and hundreds of new jobs created by Spaceport Cornwall, Goonhilly Earth Station, and the wider supply chain.
Martin Tucker, principal at Truro and Penwith College, added: “This new, ground-breaking apprenticeship is a hugely exciting development for one of the key sectors in Cornwall’s future economy.
“It is another example of future skills training that the College is developing and delivering thanks to its £12 million investment in new state-of-the-art facilities and associated resources.
“These facilities will fully support learners with the training and experience required to develop the necessary skills for Cornwall’s workforce, ensuring the success of the Space and Aerospace industry.”
Applications for the Space Engineering Technician Apprenticeship will open in March, with applicants needing to hold a qualification in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths (STEM) at Level 3 or above such as A Levels, or an Extended Diploma.