Published on: 28th February 2013

• Financial support now available for ambitious employees and new graduates
A new £6 million bursary fund opening today will pay for 500 new graduates and employees to study Masters (MSc) level degrees in aerospace engineering. This will help the sector develop the high-level skills it needs to compete globally.

As part of the Aerospace Growth Partnership, the UK aerospace industry and Government have committed £3 million each over three years to help recruit talented people who want to build careers in aerospace, but need financial backing to study at Masters level. A bursary will be available for students to cover the cost of tuition fees up to a maximum of £9,500. 

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.”
Paul Everitt, chief executive of aerospace, defence, security and space trade organisation, ADS Group commented: 
“Investment in developing world class skills is critical for the future of the UK aerospace industry. This joint commitment of funding from government and industry to create this initiative is an important step – both in securing valuable high-level skills and in taking the successful Aerospace Growth Partnership forward.”
The Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Aeronautical Society will run a competition to win these awards. The Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Philip Greenish, CBE 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.”

Extra support will be available for small and medium sizes enterprises – their employees will be eligible for a 75% subsidy towards fees. 

For more information or to apply for MSc funding, visit