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21 February 2013

Academy to run competition for 500 Master's degrees in aerospace engineering

The Royal Academy of Engineering is offering 500 ambitious employees and new graduates financial assistance to study Master's (MSc) level degrees in aerospace engineering. The competition, which opens today, (Thursday 21 February) is being run in collaboration with the Royal Aeronautical Society to help the sector develop the high-level skills it needs to compete globally.

A total of £6 million has been provided by government and the UK aerospace industry to recruit talented people who want to build careers in aerospace, but need financial backing to study at Master's level. The Aerospace Growth Partnership, of which this activity forms a part, is committed to tackling barriers to growth, boosting exports and increasing the number of high value jobs in the UK.

The scheme will support the upskilling of current aerospace employees already qualified to graduate level, and BSc students currently studying at university. A bursary will be available for students to cover the cost of tuition fees up to a maximum of £9,500. Those students will be encouraged to make direct links with aerospace businesses to undertake projects to address the challenges faced by industry, and secure opportunities for work experience and future employment.

UK companies sponsoring the scheme are BAE Systems, Bombardier Aerospace Belfast, EADS/Airbus, Finmeccanica UK, GKN, MBDA Missile Systems, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, Rolls-Royce and Spirit AeroSystems.

The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Aeronautical Society will run the competition process and will test the need for the award and the commitment to work in the aerospace sector through the application and interview process. The process will seek to enable a more diverse range of people to reach Chartered Engineer status and to work in the aerospace sector.

The Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Philip Greenish, CBE said:

"Strengthening the supply of skilled people in key areas of technology such as aerospace engineering is essential for a sustainable economic recovery and to ensure that the UK continues to be a leader in advanced design and manufacturing.

"This programme will make a swift and positive impact on the industry, which needs people with the high level engineering skills provided by UK universities. The men and women who pass through the scheme will go on to work at the cutting edge of aviation."

Business Secretary the Rt Hon Vince Cable MP said:

"There is a serious shortage of engineers in the UK. Our aerospace industry is a world-leader, but unless we create a new generation of engineers we'll struggle to keep ahead of the competition.

"Today's announcement will help us meet this demand. The funding will train some of the brightest and best, widening access to the industry to talented people from all backgrounds."

Paul Everitt, Chief executive of aerospace, defence, security and space trade organisation, ADS Group commented:

"Investment in developing world class skills is critical for the future of the UK aerospace industry. This joint commitment of funding from government and industry to create this initiative is an important step - both in securing valuable high-level skills and in taking the successful Aerospace Growth Partnership forward."

Extra support will be available for small and medium sizes enterprises - their employees will be eligible for a 75% subsidy towards fees.

For more information or to apply for MSc funding, visit www.raeng.org.uk/aeromsc

ends

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, the Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship - comprising the UK's most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain's engineering community. http://www.raeng.org.uk/

  2. The Prime Minister first announced the creation of the fund at the Farnborough International Air Show (FIAS) on 10 July.

  3. The scheme is aimed at students who, but for the bursary, would not otherwise study at Masters (MSc) level, who intend to seek employment in the aerospace industry, and company employees at sponsor companies and SMEs wishing to up skill. The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Aeronautical Society are overseeing the programme, and will test in the competition process the need for the award and the commitment to work in the aerospace sector through the application and interview process. The process will seek to enable a more diverse range of people to reach Chartered Engineer status and to work in the aerospace sector.

  4. The sponsor companies are BAE Systems, Bombardier Aerospace (Belfast), EADS/Airbus, Finmeccanica UK, GKN, MBDA Missile Systems, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, Rolls-Royce and Spirit AeroSystems. The Department for Enterprise and Learning in the Northern Ireland Administration is also supporting the programme financially.

  5. The courses will be aligned to the priorities outlined in the 'Strategic Vision for UK Aerospace' document produced by the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP), launched at Farnborough on 10 July. The AGP brings business and Government together to tackle barriers to growth, boost exports and grow the number of high value jobs in the UK.

For more information please contact:

Sarah Griffiths at The Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0655; email: Sarah Griffiths

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