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First years working on a jet

Airbus and Coleg Cambria take engineering degrees to new heights

AN ENGINEERING degree has taken off thanks to a college partnership with a world-leading plane maker.

The collaboration between Coleg Cambria, Swansea University and Airbus has attracted high-calibre students to the BEng in Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering.

The second cohort graduated at the South Wales institution just weeks ago, having enjoyed working and studying at the Airbus factory in Broughton and Cambria’s multi-million-pound facilities in Deeside and Wrexham.

Salah Berdouk, Deputy Director for the Engineering curriculum at Coleg Cambria, said the popular aerospace programme – and a new degree in Advanced Manufacturing – have taken higher education and apprenticeships in north east Wales to new heights.

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“Since joining forces with Swansea University the Aeronautical and Manufacturing degree has grown and grown, with our excellent results praised by the external examiner,” said Salah.

“That led to us launching a wider degree in Advanced Manufacturing which covers all aspects of the industry and saw us begin working with 16 companies in different areas, including Magellan Aerospace, Qioptiq and Toyota.”

He added: “The learners do not have to go into debt and are achieving a qualification that will see them factory-ready by the time they graduate, and because it’s not a full-time degree it’s much more flexible and attractive to the employers – it’s a win-win for them.”

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Recreating the processes and systems used by the companies involved in an education setting puts Cambria at the cutting edge of new engineering and manufacturing methods, says Salah.

That and experiencing hands-on, practical and taught sessions at the £10m state-of-the-art complex in Bersham Road, Wrexham, and the £3.3m University Centre, Deeside.

“As well as learners applying for the foundation degree we have others joining us in the second year who’ve followed the apprenticeship route after achieving a Higher National Certificate (HNC),” said Salah.

“Being able to learn here, work at Airbus and other great global companies and then spend time at Swansea University Bay Campus gives them the best of both worlds. They understand the organisations they work for, but it also gives them a chance to embrace the student side of things.

“Our package is geared towards the companies and their future workforce, delivering bespoke courses for them. It’s a reflection of a real manufacturing and engineering environment, which is why so many people are joining us.”

Chief executive David Jones added: “I would like to congratulate all of the students who graduated and welcome all those who have joined us this year.

“We are very proud as this is an exciting new chapter for engineering and manufacturing at Coleg Cambria, in alliance with some of the biggest names in industry.”

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