Investing in the future space industry workforce

If the UK Space Sector is to achieve George Osborne’s stated ambitious target of tripling in size within 20 years, we’ll need to develop the workforce by a similar order of magnitude. Ensuring that we have the right skills available will be vital if we are going to develop the industry, and part of this is investing in those new to the disciple of remote sensing including early career scientists.
Last week I was at the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) January Bureau and Council meeting, where it was good to see strong support for junior researchers. Events planned for this year include The Split Remote Sensing Summer School (SplitRS 2014), the EARSeL & ISPRS Young Scientist Days in parallel with the 34th EARSeL Symposium, and a summer school in Russia during September.
In addition, in the UK, the Space Internship Network (SpIN) is currently looking for 2014 placements for students and there is even some limited funding available to support SME’s with their placement. I know how difficult it is for SME’s to support student placements and early career scientists, but as I said last week that we want to play our part in the growth of the sector, and that includes workforce development. Unfortunately the SpIN placement timing isn’t suited to us this year, but we are currently discussing our first MSc work placement.
There are several exciting opportunities in this country, Europe and beyond to help the development of the future space workforce. How are you, and your company, going to get involved?