The countrys first International Air & Space Training Institute (IASTI) was cleared for take-off today at the virtual launch of IASTI Newark.
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At the on-line event, hosted by Lincoln College Group, the RAF signed up as an official partner and it was revealed late-stage talks are underway with further major global industry partners.
Guests included the Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, Midlands Engine Chairman Sir John Peace, Newark Towns Fund Chairman Tom Cartledge and RAF Air Marshal Andrew Turner.
The creator of IASTI, Simon Witts, CEO of independent aviation consultancy Aviation 360, was also a guest. IASTI Newark is the first of a national network to open and advanced talks are underway for more in other parts of the UK.
In August last year the multi-million-pound IASTI project was selected by Newark & Sherwood District Council to go forward for funding as part of the Town Investment Plan and the lead project in the Towns Fund Bid.
On Wednesday it was announced Newark & Sherwood has been allocated it’s full £25m request, which paves the way for building work to start on IASTI® Newark in 2022, with the building opening in 2023.
School-leavers can now apply for pilot, engineering and ground-crew courses designed with industry to fit job roles in the air and space sector starting in September.
Lincoln College Group CEO Gary Headland said: “We are thrilled that we have secured a world-class partner in the Royal Air Force and we’re very excited to be in late-stage talks with other very significant aviation industry partners.
“School-leavers will benefit from industry-designed courses from level-three through to degree-level, enabling them to enter the aviation industry fully qualified as commercial and military pilots, engineers and ground crew.
“Our IASTI degree courses will draw students from all over the UK to live and study in and around Newark, continuing the economic regeneration of the town and the region. “This ground-breaking new approach to training in the sector will dramatically widen participation, opening up highly skilled, exciting and lucrative careers to people from all backgrounds.”
Simon Witts added: “Thanks to the excellent working partnership with Lincoln College Group we have been able to progress with establishing similar IASTIs around the country. But IASTI Newark is, and always will be, the first which sets the standard for the others to follow.”
IASTI Newark will deliver education and training co-designed with industry to fit career pathways in world-class facilities and students will be trained utilising the latest equipment with expert tutors.
It will produce highly skilled pilots, engineers and ground crew to plug skills and capacity gaps, facilitating the post-pandemic surge in the aviation sector, which is expected in the next 18-months.
The sector is also undergoing a period of innovation, investment and transformation to hit net-zero carbon emissions targets and students will be immersed in sustainable aviation developments as part of their courses.
Air Commodore Simon Harper said: “The RAF has enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Lincoln College Group through the Air and Defence Career College. We are fully behind the development of the International Air and Space Training Institute as it launches this year and will continue to work alongside civil aviation partners and Lincoln College Group to shape the next generation of aviation training.”