Airbus signed a partnership agreement with the University of Bristol last week, formalising their commitment to build on training, education and diversity. The agreement was signed at the International Air Show in Paris last week.

Talking about the partnership Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer of Airbus Group, said: “These partnership agreements underline our commitment to work hand-in-hand with academics and engineering education leaders to develop and secure the competences that the aerospace industry will need in the future.”

The University of Bristol is one of seven institutions involved, with universities in France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands involved.

Airbus already has a strong relationship with the University of Bristol that has developed over many years. They have research collaborations across four departments with representatives also sitting on steering groups for research and technology programmes.

The Industrial Liaison office at the Faculty of Engineering already works closely with Airbus. They develop outreach and scholarship programmes as well as providing opportunities for students to visit Airbus and present to industry experts.

The University is also actively working with Airbus to encourage more women into engineering roles, an area where the UK is lacking. The UK has the lowest proportion of female engineering professional in Europe at 6%. Worryingly, a recent survey found that only 7% of parents would encourage their daughters to become engineers. That combined with the lack of practical engineering skills held by the next generation of engineers in general makes it all the more important that partnerships like this are encouraged.

Industry leaders like Airbus and Gloucestershire based Renishaw are working hard to improve the skills of the next generation of engineers which is extremely important if we are to keep the levels of expertise we need in the UK. The success of our engineers of the future is dependent upon the education they receive combined with the practical knowledge and application learnt from industry.

Talking about this Therry Baril from Airbus said “Developing a future talent pipeline is vital to our success. We are proud to partner with such prestigious universities to pursue this objective.”

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