First Space Academy apprentice recruited

The first apprentice under the ‘Space Academy’ programme has been recruited and will work with Magna Parva, a engineering company that designs products for applications in hostile environments.

Josh Thompson will work with Magna Parva for an initial three years while working towards his BTEC HNC qualifications. He will also receive training at the National Space Centre (NSC) on space exploration and communications skills.

 The scheme, managed in collaboration with the NSC, offers professional apprenticeships to young people between 16 and 18 who have at least six good GCSEs and an interest in space.

 Magna Parva’s first apprenticeship appointment has come just as the Government’s Space Innovation and Growth Team (IGT) has published its report into the future of the UK space industry. The report, which has been widely welcomed, recommended that the number of space apprenticeships in the UK be doubled.

Josh has a challenging but interesting time ahead as he will be working on projects such as MIXS Optics designed for use in Mercury missions, the Life Marker Chip for Martian exploration and so on. General day-to-day work could involve testing hardware, recording test results, assembling manufactured equipment for testing and taking responsibility for hardware quality assurance.

 Andrew Bowyer, Director at Magna Parva, was selected as a member of the Innovation and Growth Team, participating in the Science sub-group.

Bowyer said: “We hear much about the importance of leading edge engineering to the UK economy, yet much undiscovered talent lies unused, especially among young people who have chosen not to follow an academic route”.

 Dr Sarah Hill, Space Academy Project Manager at the NSC agreed: “We’re sure Josh will make a valuable contribution to the team there.”

 Magna Parva was recently shortlisted for a Lord Stafford Award for Innovation in Development, recognizing the collaborative approach that has delivered a string of innovations in engineering for hostile environments.

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