Zenith Canada Pathways launches Canada’s first space fellowship – SpaceQ

The Zenith Canada Pathways Foundation, a not-for-profit group, was unveiled in mid-February with the specific goal of creating and retaining extremely certified personnel in Canada’s aerospace business.

The newly created basis was publicly launched on February 13th co-hosted by the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and the next day throughout a keynote and panel on the SEDS Canada’s Ascension 2021 convention.

To attain the foundations goal, Zenith Canada created the inaugural Zenith Fellowship Program. The Zenith Fellowship goals to attach college students and younger professionals with work- studying alternatives and a group of business mentors and advisors. Modelled after US-based packages, such because the Brooke Owens Fellowship and the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship, this system seeks to help the sustainable development of area expertise in Canada. 

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As a not-for-profit group, Zenith Canada Pathways Basis is led by a voluntary of people in business and academia throughout Canada. The crew of Zenith Canada includes Tahir Merali, an area business govt, Hira Nadeem, a graduate scholar and Canada’s first Brooke Owens Fellow, and Zaid Rana, a science mission and programs specialist. I used to be in a position to sit down with co-founders Tahir Merali and Hira Nadeem to speak in regards to the Fellowship program and what to anticipate. 

What’s the Zenith Fellowship Program?

Tahir: The Fellowship is the flagship program of the Zenith Canada Pathways Basis and is a nationwide merit-based skilled program. It features a bespoke mentoring program for college students and early profession professionals looking for work expertise, offering them a basis to springboard their profession. All of the founding members of the Zenith Basis needed to depart Canada to chase a profession in area and construct experience – many people got here again to Canada and plenty of us haven’t. It is a crucial situation for expertise growth and the way forward for the aerospace sector in Canada. The many years outdated drawback has additionally been highlighted within the Emerson report in 2012 which referred to as for skilled growth of youth. We noticed profitable fashions with the Brooke Owens, Matthew Isakowitz and Patti Grace Smith Fellowships within the US and realized that there was a have to implement an identical program in Canada. 

Why is this program necessary?

Hira: Going by way of my profession as {an electrical} engineer searching for jobs within the Canadian area business, entry to info was not straightforward. I needed to search for alternatives to raise myself, which concerned plenty of networking. I acknowledge I had the privilege to take day off and drive to Ottawa for the Canadian Area Summit for instance, however not everybody can try this. My expertise with the Brooke Owens Fellowship within the US supplied skilled growth and mentorship alternatives within the world area sector which had been essential. This expertise led me to create the Zenith Canada Fellowship, to inspire different college students and present them that there are alternatives to take in thrilling initiatives in Canada as effectively. 

Tahir: Right here in Canada, having labored in each non-public and public sectors (in aerospace and in any other ), I spotted not a lot focus is placed on the significance {of professional} growth and facilitating development of latest, homegrown expertise. It’s well-known that within the final 5 years, there’s a giant generational hole that’s rising. These concerned and invested in offering heritage in area are retiring and that data shouldn’t be being distilled or handed down effectively sufficient to help incoming people within the sector. Within the final couple of years, the ‘State of the Canadian Area Sector’ report has persistently proven that the Canadian area workforce stage was maintained at practically 10,000 jobs and that quantity has not grown a lot, though there was development in small and medium enterprises. These enterprises want the expertise to and Zenith Canada desires to contribute to creating the sources to retain Canadian expertise. One other necessary level is that the community created by way of a program of early profession professionals, ends in relationships creating organically which can create a stronger sector general. 

What can we anticipate by way of construction and timeline? 

Tahir: The Fellowship will probably be profitable primarily based on the partnerships we make with host organizations in addition to strategic companions, to assist talk alternatives and enhance accessibility. We wish to make sure that fairness, inclusion and variety targets throughout geography, gender, cultural background, id, and different parameters are met. Over the subsequent 6 weeks, we will probably be onboarding host organizations that can make an early dedication to tackle the primary set of Zenith fellows. When it comes to timeline, the appliance course of will open in fall 2021, with screening carried out by the choice , and profitable finalists (referred to as fellows) matched with host organizations and exterior mentors. This system will start for the primary class of fellows in January 2022, with a networking summit in the summertime of 2022.

What are you searching for in candidates?

Hira: We search passionate people from various, multi-disciplinary backgrounds (inside or exterior the area sector). The eligibility necessities will probably be revealed earlier than summer season this yr so that folks can get an concept of what we’re searching for and so we goal the correct candidates – college students and new graduates. 

To conclude our dialog, Tahir and Hira highlighted that the Basis is actively looking for potential host organizations and strategic companions eager about participating with the Zenith Fellowship to allow equitable, various, and inclusive internship alternatives Canada-wide. The group will be contacted at data@zenithorg.ca.

Disclaimer – Mariam Naseem is an advisor for the Zenith Canada Pathways Basis.

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