BAE Systems and University of Portsmouth launch UK's first space degree apprenticeship

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BAE Systems and the University of Portsmouth have launched the UK’s first ever degree apprenticeship in Space Systems Engineering.

Applications are now open for the first intake of space degree apprentices who will be part of exciting projects such as Azalea, which is due to launch its first multi-sensor low earth orbit satellite cluster in 2025 to deliver intelligence in real-time to military customers.

Apprentices will learn on-the-job critical skills at BAE Systems sites in Alton and Guildford, including System and Mission Analysis, Software Development, AOCS (Attitude and Orbit Control System) and Electronics from some of the most talented people in the industry.

At the University of Portsmouth, the apprentices will undertake a Bachelor of Engineering in Space Systems Engineering. This four and half year course will provide them with the very latest skills in Computer Aided Design, Telecommunication Systems, Space Science, Space Mission Design and Materials and Manufacture.

This pioneering academic qualification highlights the growth of the UK space sector and how industry and academia are stepping up to provide highly valuable training in this field. The programme has been influenced and designed with insight from an advisory group comprised of government representatives, space sector leaders and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

Doug Liddle, director, Space at BAE Systems’ Digital Intelligence business, said: “The launch of the UK’s first space degree apprenticeship is a vital step to attract the next generation of talent into our growing space sector. The skills gap faced today poses a significant challenge to the future of the sector.

"So it’s critical that we encourage and invest in future space engineers to support the UK‘s ambition to become a space science and technology superpower and ensure we stay ahead in the New Space Age. The sky is no longer the limit.”

Professor Djamel Ait-Boudaoud, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Technology at The University of Portsmouth, said: "In the midst of the UK's expansion and ambition within the space sector, addressing the critical challenge of a skills shortage is paramount to realising our national aspirations. Collaboration between educational institutions and industry is essential to meet both national and regional skill demands.

"The University of Portsmouth has identified Space technology as a strategic priority for the future and we are passionate about driving forward space initiatives building on the successes of our world-leading astrophysics and cosmology research, and our expertise in the use of satellite data for solving global challenges.”

BAE Systems is set for another record-breaking recruitment drive in 2024 with approximately 2,700 new apprentice and graduate opportunities available to young people across the UK.

With more than 60 programmes available, there are opportunities at every level, including steelwork and electrical engineering, cyber security, software development, human resources and project management.

The closing date for apprentice applications is 28 February 2024. Find out more and apply here

Additionally there are thousands of early careers roles available across the UK with multiple intakes throughout the year, including January, April, July and September. Find out more and apply: