The new Valency engineering hub at Truro and Penwith College campus (Image: Truro and Penwith College)
People wanting a career in the growing space sector will not have to leave Cornwall to do so after one college announced it is launching a raft of courses to help them achieve just that.
As part of its Space Technology Training project, in partnership with the University of Exeter, Truro and Penwith College is providing the opportunity for a team of experts in space and satellite technology, engineering, physics and astronomy to work with employers in Cornwall in identifying appropriate training to help boost their development and the development of the sector as a whole.
Guided by experts in the sector based at the University of Leicester and the Open University and, in Cornwall, at Goonhilly Earth Station, Spaceport Cornwall and Aerospace Cornwall and based on information from businesses, the EU-funded project will develop a suite of courses that will provide graduates and non-graduate staff within the sector with the education and training needed to support new and existing businesses linked to the space industry.
Further expert delivery will support post-graduate staff employed within the sector and provide additional training for those involved in developing projects and businesses.
Heading up the team as Space Technology Training project manager is Heidi Thiemann, an experienced space sector educationalist who has worked in the space skills domain for over five years.
Heidi launched the Space Skills Alliance to tackle skill shortages in the sector, where she worked on analysing skills demands and the quality of space job adverts, creating skills taxonomies, and running the first national census of the UK space sector.
She also co-founded SpaceCareers.uk in 2015, a careers website for young people, which has since become the go-to resource for the space sector.
Heidi also mentors young people at Space School UK and is completing a PhD in astrophysics at The Open University.
She said: “With the long history of Goonhilly Earth Station and the exciting future of Spaceport Cornwall, it’s the new place to be for space in the UK, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.
“Through the Space and Aerospace Skills Development Project, Truro and Penwith College will bring together space industry employers and educators, making sure that we’re providing the people of Cornwall with the training and employment opportunities they need to work in this exciting new sector.”
Andy Stittle, the college’s director of partnerships, added: “This is an exciting project and will help ensure the college has the level of industry engagement to underpin our £12 million investment in two new state of the art technology buildings and associated resources at Truro and, opening in April 2022, at Bodmin.
“These facilities will fully support learners with the training and experience required to develop the necessary skills for Cornwall’s workforce in ensuring the success of the space and aero industry.”
Visit www.truro-penwith.ac.uk for more information.
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