Business Secretary the Rt Hon Vince Cable MP will speak at the Royal Academy of Engineering on 29 May to lead the celebrations of the Aerospace MSc Bursary Scheme.

Robin Southwell, CEO of EADS UK and President of ADS (the trade organisation for advancing UK Aerospace, Defence and Security industries,) will also speak at the event, which will be attended by senior representatives from the scheme’s nine partner companies, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Education and the Aerospace Growth Partnership as well as students accepted onto the Aerospace MSc Bursary programme.

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

The event will celebrate the roll out of the scheme, which is designed to help the sector develop the high-level skills it needs to compete globally and is run by the Academy in collaboration with the Royal Aeronautical Society. The scheme is offering 500 ambitious employees and new graduates financial assistance to study Master's (MSc) level degrees in aerospace engineering.

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. 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 scheme will support the up skilling of those who would otherwise not be able to access MSc study in Aerospace Engineering, including those already in employment in the aerospace sector. A bursary will be available for students to cover the cost of tuition fees up to a maximum of £9,500. 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.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said, "We have a world-leading aerospace industry in the UK, but it can only be as strong as its workforce. Training and skills are important to its continued success, which is why they are an integral part of our Aerospace Industrial Strategy.

"Collaborating with industry through this scheme the Government will help to create the next generation of highly-skilled engineers. We need bright and talented people to drive the industry forward so we can stay ahead of the global competition."

The Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Philip Greenish, 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."

For more information or to apply for MSc funding, visit

Notes for editors

  1. An  Industrial strategy for aerospace (PDF - 2.85MB), implementing a shared government and industry vision for the sector was published on 18 March 2013. It contains the commitment to £1bn from BIS matched by £1bn from industry for research and development in the sector.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Royal Aeronautical Society is the world’s only professional body dedicated to the aerospace community: it exists to further the advancement of aeronautical art, science and engineering around the world. Established in 1866, the Society has been at the forefront of developments in aerospace ever since, seeking to:

  • Promote the highest professional standards in all aerospace disciplines

  • Provide specialist information & act as a central forum for the exchange of ideas

  • Play a leading role in influencing opinion on aerospace matters

For more information please contact

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