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School leavers encouraged to reach for the stars

Posted onPosted on 22nd Jun

The first International Air and Space Institute (IASTI®) centre, established this year in Newark, is calling for applicants to train as the next generation of pilots, astronauts, engineers and flight dispatchers.

The new intake is due to start in September with industry-designed facilities at Newark College. The college is encouraging school leavers, who may believe that working in the aviation and space industries is out of reach, to consider this exciting sector.

“Welcoming IASTI to Newark is incredibly exciting. It places us at the forefront of higher education for the aviation and space industries. The courses on offer will give school leavers a great foundation to build a career in this exciting growth sector.” Tom Cartledge, Co-Chair of the Newark Town’s Fund Board explains.

“Newark is ideally placed, with both civil and military air bases nearby as well as our great train and road links, for a national centre of educational excellence such as IASTI. The sector is also set to grow in the future as technology continues to advance. We’ll be encouraging young people to follow their dreams and develop a career in the aviation and space industry.”

Lincoln College executive Tom Marsden, who has been appointed director of IASTI Newark, adds: “At Lincoln College, we are delighted to be leading the development of the IASTI Newark, which will provide the latest education innovation to train students to meet the demands of an exciting sector.

“In line with our employer led mission and vision to provide recognised social and economic value, IASTI Newark will provide huge opportunities for the young people of the East Midlands from all backgrounds to enter the aviation sector.”

The development of IASTI is part of the £25m Towns Fund bid. This project will not only provide world leading education for school leavers now, but also inspire future generations of schoolchildren to pursue their dreams of being pilots and aviation engineers.

“I love living in Newark,” says James (pictured), aged 7 from Highfields School, Newark, “but when I grow up I really want to be a pilot. I love that I can learn about planes and become a pilot in Newark. The air museum is my favourite place to visit as they have a lot of planes to see but my favourite plane of all time is the Airbus A380. That is what I want to fly when I get older and now I can learn to fly planes at home in Newark!”

The new institute is working closely with the industry and the RAF to ensure that its curriculum is relevant and exciting. The aim is to develop the next generation of aviation and space professionals who can slot into the roles offered by this growth sector.

Newark College is hosting its next virtual open day on Saturday 3 July from 10am. If you’re interested in attending, you can register online at At the open day, you’ll be able to ask advice and find out what pathways are open to you in the aviation sector.

IASTI will allow individuals to specialise in those areas they are most interested in through their ‘Pathways’ programmes.

‘Engineer’ leads to “A-Licence” mechanic/technician and “B-Licence” aviation engineer roles.
‘Flight’ is the pathway for future pilots.
‘Flight Dispatcher’ is for those students who want to manage teams responsible for the loading, refuelling and communications around take-off and landing – ensuring safety and security.
The courses currently on offer are equivalent to two ‘A’-levels and lead on to the IASTI® (Newark) Degree programmes.

The programmes have been developed with the help of industry partners to ensure that the curriculum is relevant, leading to real careers in a growing and exciting industry.

Newark College is committed to delivering a learning environment that builds the students’ confidence and gives them the tools to go out and achieve their dreams.

IASTI Newark will welcome its first intake of new students in September 2021. Applications are open now, prospective students can apply online at

IASTI Newark is a central part of the Newark Towns Fund Board £25m bid under the Government’s Towns Fund deal to make Newark the place people want to live, work and visit. Find out more about Newark’s towns fund bid by visiting