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UK Needs To Be Prepared for the Needs of Space
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work in the space industry.

Young people in the UK can enjoy a fruitful, exciting and lucrative career in the space industry – if the foundations are now put in place to give them the right qualifications and skills.

This is just one of the points made by Grant Lewis, a project manager with Lockheed Martin, as part of a panel at the recent UK Space Suppliers Summit held at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Lockheed Martin is at the cutting edge of developing the UK’s space capabilities and helping to create a strong space economy which will not only provide endless opportunities for the next generation but also allow those with transferable skills to take a new career path.

Grant was a guest speaker on a panel discussion on strengthening the UK capability base to prepare for a larger space economy, bringing his expertise of years of working for Lockheed Martin – the last five in the space sector – to the event.

Lockheed Martin is involved in numerous projects all aimed at helping the UK build a space-based economy, from a collaboration with the University of Northumbria and the creation of NESST – North East Space Skills and Technology Centre – to supporting the Government’s Space Defence Strategy.

Grant highlighted the fact that it is now vital for the UK to have enough skilled people to meet the potential demand which will be required by the space economy.

He believes at the heart of future growth is ensuring that there is a “building of resource pipelines and plugging of SQEP (suitably qualified and experiences personnel) gaps.”

“It’s very important that we feed the future pool of skills,” said Grant.

“And that the talent pool is growing at the same pace as the industry.”

While it’s understandable that many people may think that working in space is restricted to those from a science background, the job prospects are more far reaching.

Many people working in completely different industries have transferrable skills which can transition to work in space.


“Being a rocket scientist isn’t a prerequisite to work in the industry,” said Grant.

“The industry is going to need accountants, engineers, project managers and people with commercial expertise in the future – these are all transferable skills which could be adapted to work in the space sector.”


Grant also believes that the UK’s future success in the space industry is also dependent on collaboration.

“There are multiple space organisations around the country, all working with common underlying themes but who need to collaborate so we can make the most of the opportunities that exist,” he said.

The need for international collaboration was also highlighted by Grant, who believes that an important part of the UK’s growth strategy is “to create a balance to ensure that the market is not just restricted to UK suppliers in the long term.”

“If we tap into the benefits of international collaboration and the import/export potential, that can also provide additional commercial growth, as well as supporting the skills debate,” he said.

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Media Contact:

Jacqueline Lucas jacqueline.a.lucas@global.lmco.com /+44 (0) 7385005135

Communications Lead for Space in the UK

Lockheed Martin UK Space