Good grounding for aerospace apprentices on leading Wales business degree

AN INNOVATIVE Business degree partnership has given talented students a good grounding for their future careers.

Airbus apprentices Ryan Duffy and Fiola Woodley reached new heights on completing the Foundation Degree in Applied Business Management at Coleg Cambria’s £3.5m Northop Business School in Flintshire.

Awarded by Swansea University, the qualification will see them progress in their work roles at the global aerospace company, based in nearby Broughton.

The two-year programme can be extended to a three-year BSc, where learners will study modules including Business Management, Project Management and Delivery, and an Organisational Project.

Ryan took on the course to gain more experience and confidence, adding: “I learnt an awful lot about myself, and understanding my own strengths and weaknesses.

“Each module provided me with theoretical knowledge I can apply on the job with Airbus, whilst also giving me exposure to the academic learning techniques that aren’t used on a day-to-day basis at work.

“My advice to someone deciding whether to study at Coleg Cambria would be to never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. The beauty of the Applied Business Management degree is it gives you the freedom to be creative and be yourself.”

Both Ryan and Fiola praised the college for swiftly moving resources online when Covid-19 took hold in the UK last year, with the latter confirming this method of learning played a big part in helping to navigate modules successfully.

“It gave us a real insight into the world of work and enabled me to apply thinking and application into my job role, anticipating potential problems and looking at alternative ways to overcome them,” said Fiola.

Business School Manager Lesley Rasmussen said the curriculum was redesigned during the pandemic with more interactive and online learning to make it a pan-Wales offering.

“There is a more blended approach that has been well-received and makes it more accessible, which reflects demand in light of Covid-19 and more people working from home,” said Lesley.

“This will be a new way of delivering the course and because of the flexibility it is more attractive to people already in employment, so we look forward to rolling-it out fully this September.”

She added: “The results so far have been incredible, and in the future, we look forward to welcoming more industry speakers – it’s a fantastic time to be joining the degree.”

Chris Burke, Head of Early Careers at Airbus in Broughton, said: “Degree apprenticeships are being seen by many as a valid alternative to university. Airbus degree apprentices benefit hugely from the work-based learning they undertake, which helps them achieve academic excellence in a wide variety of disciplines.

“Next year’s recruitment will begin in Autumn 2021; so please the Airbus website to find out about the programmes we run and how to apply.”

Alan Price, Programme Director at Swansea University School of Management, said they are proud of their association with Coleg Cambria and collaboration on this course.

“The performance of our learners has been extremely impressive and a large part of that is down to how the team have managed the challenges presented by the pandemic,” he said.

“Now we are building on our early success by extending the availability of the programme across Wales, we feel certain employers will see the value of the flexible nature of the programme and the fact learners will be business-ready on completion – we are excited by the prospect of introducing this to new organisations.”

For more information on the Applied Business Management FDSc/BSc, visit the website:

Visit for more on the range of Business courses and qualifications available at Coleg Cambria.

Visit for more information about Airbus apprenticeship programmes.