Would you like 'groundbreaking' training to work in the space industry?

A training programme aims to recruit skilled professionals and tradespeople for opportunities within the growing space sector.

Workers are being offered the chance to take their skills into orbit by enrolling in “groundbreaking” courses to prepare them for working in the space industry.

The training programme aims to recruit a range of skilled professionals and tradespeople, such as insurance managers and electricians, to take up opportunities within the growing space sector.

Run by the University of Edinburgh and Fife College, course leaders say they are specifically keen to recruit women who have taken a career break to care for family members.

Space Bridges: Facilitating Future Space Careers will deliver five courses aimed at non-graduate pathways leading to apprenticeships in the sector.

Another five courses will look to upskill people working in areas such as financial services or engineering to better support the space industry.

Fees for those taking part in the first year will be funded by UK Space Agency, with up to 25 places available on each course.

The six-week-long courses will be taught online and in-person. Organisers hope they ensure a robust pipeline of qualified colleagues entering the space workforce.

The project has secured more than £500,000 in funding from UK Space Agency to help bridge the skills gap currently experienced in the sector.

The Space Sector Skills Survey 2023 identified the need for more support in areas including commercial operations, software and data.

University of Edinburgh’s Bayes Centre and Fife College are partners in the Data Driven Innovation programme within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and have already been delivering upskilling programmes in data science.

Rocket Factory Augsburg 'flawlessly' hot-fired a total of four Helix engines at SaxaVord Spaceport in Shetland in May 2024. RFA

The new courses for the space sector have received the backing of 44 organisations within the industry and will be recruiting from across the UK.

Kristina Tamane, space sector lead at University of Edinburgh said: “These courses have been co-created with our colleagues in industry, to ensure our participants will be readily employable in the space sector upon completion.

“What I feel makes this project unique is the range of courses on offer and our specific focus on equality, diversity and inclusion. These courses are there to give skilled individuals the confidence to enter this burgeoning sector and make a real difference, bringing their existing background and experience with them.”

Jenni Doonan, head of projects at Fife College said: “We are thrilled that Fife College is the first in the UK to offer college level training to create a pathway to employment into the space sector and other industries which utilise space data.

“Our UK Space Agency Training funding provides an exceptional opportunity to learn about data collected from space and its positive impact on our lives in Scotland.

“Scotland’s rapidly growing space data sector provides exciting job opportunities. This training is the first step in opening up these jobs to college students previously only available to university graduates.

“The training will ensure students learn about geospatial systems, utilising space data, maps, and other location-based information created by international agencies.”

Ken Gourlay, Fife Council chief executive and chair of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Integrated Regional Employability and Skills Programme, said “Scotland’s Space industry is increasingly lucrative and offers tremendous economic opportunities. Fife businesses are well positioned to support this growing sector.

“This initiative, building upon the Data-Driven Innovation and Skills elements of the City Region Deal, should ensure that Fife residents have the opportunity to form the necessary talent pipeline to support the growth of space sector and the exciting careers it presents.”

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