On July 1st, the European Commission presented the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience. This agenda sets ambitious, quantitative objectives for upskilling (improving existing skills) and reskilling (training in new skills) to be achieved within 5 years. The European Year of Skills (9 May 2023- 8 May 2024) aims to address skills gaps in the European Union and boost the EU skills strategy, which will help reskill people with a focus on digital and green technology skills.
Looking specifically at astronomy doctoral graduates (PhDs) and post-docs (PDs) research demonstrates that, on average, only between 15% and 30% will remain in academia, so there is a real need to ensure that the skills graduate students are equipped with, can be transferred effectively to the workforce and a skills gap is averted.
In succession of the EU-funded project SKIES (SKilled, Innovative and Entrepreneurial Scientists) in which astronomy graduate students were trained in transferable skills for academia and industry, NOVA, NWO and dotSPACE will launch a sequel of this training programme starting in September 2023. This skills training under the SKIES umbrella perfectly fits in the year of skills approach to provide training for skilled scientists for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience and serves as a natural bridge between academia and the private sector.
National training 21-22 October
SKIES 2023 will be implemented through a collaboration between NOVA, NWO and dotSPACE. The training will be especially focussed on career development, personal competencies and entrepreneurial skills. Besides some theory, the training will have many interactive components, e.g. an exercise with the Entrecompte framework as a tool to bridge between the worlds of education and work and the design of your own “Business Model You” which helps you to define your own personal business model, picturing the business/ work as a person.
Space and non-space Industries will be invited to inform PhDs and PDs about career opportunities within and outside academia and share best practices. A network of mentors will be available to guide you in your professional development journey.
The main workshop of the training will be on-site in Amersfoort for two days in October 2023, which is a good environment to meet and speak with peers.
NOVA is in the lead for delivering the trainings in close cooperation with Stichting dotSPACE .
For the training in October, we have 25 seats available. Astronomy postdocs and PhDs are invited to register by filling in the following form:
Future mentors can express their interest in joining the training programme by reaching out to: