Masters funding scheme aims to boost aerospace industry

A £6million bursary fund opening today will allow 500 new graduates and employees to study Masters level degrees in aerospace engineering.

Launched as part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, the initiative is aimed at helping the sector develop the high level skills it needs to compete globally. The scheme will support the up-skilling of current aerospace employees already qualified to graduate level, and BSc students currently studying at university. 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, GKN, MBDA Missile Systems, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, Rolls-Royce and Spirit AeroSystems. Business Secretary Vince Cable 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 further train quality engineering graduates, widening access to the industry to talented people from all backgrounds."