Rocket Lab recruits young engineers

  • 01/03/2015

Most jobs aren't rocket science, but Rocket Lab has vacancies for dozens of jobs that are.

The Kiwi company is preparing to put its first satellite into orbit and needs more scientists and engineers.

Many children play with toy rockets, but only a few grow up to play with the real thing.

Peter Beck's company Rocket Lab hopes to launch its first satellite into orbit by the end of the year.

"For you to put the effort in, the work that is required, there has to be that fire inside you, otherwise it is just not going to succeed," says Mr Beck.

Mr Beck has just been named New Zealand Innovator of the Year. One of his major investors is New Zealander of the Year Sir Stephen Tindall.

"We invest in things that we really like, things that are fun, rather than often the bottom line," says Sir Stephen.

Rocket Lab wants to create a network of satellites, providing weather reports, internet access and phone coverage in remote areas.

But it needs to double its staff to around 80 and has recruited many of its engineers from overseas.

"It's great to get a really good engineer, but getting a really good engineer with that passion who just really wants to see their company succeed, they are really hard to find," says Mr Beck.

The Tindall Foundation is working to encourage teenagers to think about science as a career, young people who may one day work at Rocket Lab.

"The lights go on because the salaries are around $70,000," says Sir Stephen. "These are mostly Pacific Island or Maori families. It's remarkable they switch like that. They are kicking goals; they know they have got a guaranteed job at the end of it."

Neither of them started out thinking they would one day run their own company. Both say if you are good at something you should pursue it.

Mr Beck is hoping that it turns out many of those teenagers are good at rockets.

"Rockets are pretty hard to beat," says Mr Beck. "It's a pretty good sales pitch when you have got a rocket, for a kid, so hopefully in some way we can encourage and influence them to follow that course."

After all, it's an industry that's taking off.

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source: newshub archive