Russia's space industry needs to recruit over 110,000 university graduates in the next decade to revive the sector's fortunes, a senior United Rocket and Space Corporation official was quoted as saying in a company statement Wednesday.
The lack of young talent pursuing jobs in the space sector is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry, which has seen an increasing number of embarrassing accidents and rocket failures in the past five years.
The acting head of United Rocket and Space Corporation, Yury Vlasov, said in Wednesday's statement that the company was prepared to offer graduates with technical educations interesting and high-paying work in the space industry to achieve the goal of hiring over 110,000 young specialists by 2025.
The state-owned company, which unites most of Russia's space design and production bureaus under its roof, said last year that the number of people employed in the space industry would rise to 200,000 people by 2016. At the height of the Soviet space program in 1989, over 1 million people were employed in the space sector.
Many in the industry today are underpaid veterans from the glory days of the Soviet space program, with an average age of 45.4 years and an average salary of 44,500 rubles ($820) a month. Last year URSC announced it would double wages by 2025 and launch programs to attract youth.
By comparison, the average age of an employee at the U.S.-based SpaceX commercial space launch company is reported to be between 26 and 30.