Royal seal of approval for high-flying College Cambria

High-flying Coleg Cambria has been honoured by the Queen for helping the £24 billion aerospace industry to take off in the UK.

The college was presented with the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace this morning. (Thursday, February 27).


David Jones, Principal and Chief Executive and Nick Tyson, Executive Director of Engineering and Construction receiving the award from HM Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace

Their Centre of Excellence for Aerospace Development has trained more than 5,000 learners since it was set up in 2002.

The initiative has resulted in Airbus employees at the wing-making factory in Broughton gaining more than 7,000 nationally recognised qualifications. The centre’s staff have also been instrumental in setting up Airbus Academies in the UK, France, Germany and Spain.

They also work closely with other locally-based aerospace firms like Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, Raytheon, Magellan and Apple Aviation. As a result, the Centre of Excellence has won a raft of awards over the years, culminating in this latest prize from the Queen which is designed to promote and recognise “world class excellence” in UK universities and colleges.

Being awarded the prize was a source of great pride to Coleg Cambria Chair John Clutton and the Principal and Chief Executive, David Jones, who received the award from HM Queen.

Mr Clutton said:

“It is excellent recognition of the superb work that’s been carried out between Airbus and Coleg Cambria over many years. What this partnership does for the local area is quite phenomenal and the recent $20 billion order for for 50 more Airbus A380s is great news. The fact that wing production is centred in North East Wales is a great boost in terms of securing employment, securing the future of young people in Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire. Our focus at Coleg Cambria is to provide for the region as many opportunities as it can for the workforce, for young people and for the whole of the community.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Mr Jones who added:

“This is a significant achievement for Coleg Cambria and we are delighted to receive this commendation. The Queen’s Awards have a very intensive and demanding assessment process, and most are won by the UK’s leading Universities. It proves that that the staff and students at Coleg Cambria can match the very best in UK and global education. I thank them all for their dedication and professionalism, together with all our colleagues at Airbus and across the wider aerospace sector that we are so proud to support.”

According to Airbus, which employs 6,000 people in Broughton, the college had played an important role in their success.

Mick Fleming, Head of HR-Employment, Training and Competence Management at Airbus, said:

“Our collaboration with Coleg Cambria is an exemplar of best practice that has helped underpin the phenomenal commercial success of our operation at Broughton. The aerospace facilities at the college are outstanding and a unique feature of this project has seen college staff being based within Airbus. This has played a hugely important role in the positive outcomes achieved by our apprentices and existing employees. The prize won by Coleg Cambria is richly deserved because of their immense contribution to Airbus and the wider aerospace sector.”



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