Cameron Sidders, student, shakes hands with David Best, Head of Strategy & Business Development at Airbus
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Work Experience Initiative Takes Flight with Airbus

The sky’s the limit for hard working City of Bristol College student, Cameron Sidders, as he gets on board with Airbus to gain invaluable engineering skills through a work placement delivered by the experts in the field.

City of Bristol College has worked with Airbus for over eight years in designing and delivering a successful aerospace engineering apprenticeship scheme, being the first of its kind in the UK, and training over 160 apprentices. This work experience opportunity is a direct result of successful partnership working.

City of Bristol College is committed to ensuring students work with the latest technology and high-tech equipment to give them the skills needed to progress into higher education or employment. As part of this commitment they have invested £4m into new accommodation at their Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) which provides state-of-the-art industry facilities including: workshops, laboratories, computer aided simulation rigs and testing/diagnostic equipment.       

Cameron, City of Bristol College student, is based at AEC and studies a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. His skills and understanding have improved significantly since starting College and working with the latest engineering equipment. These skills have been further cemented by his work placement with Airbus.

Cameron said: “Being able to experience first-hand the design elements of engineering, including how things are made and what components are involved throughout the process, has helped me enormously. It’s given me a valuable insight into what it’s actually like to work in the engineering field. I feel more confident to make a decision about my future now that I’ve been fortunate enough to complete my work experience at Airbus. It’s a great place to start your career and I would consider applying for a job at Airbus when I leave College.”    

Head of Strategy & Business Development at AirbusDavid Best, was instrumental in setting up and providing the right support for Cameron’s work placement. He said: “It’s important that Airbus liaises with the local community and link with Colleges and Universities in the region. This ensures that we’re reaching out to attract talent and gives visibility to what we do, and potentially the careers that are available, not just in engineering but also within aerospace.

“I remember when I was at School, you didn’t really know what’s outside. So, opening our doors to students and showing them what we do and what we could offer is important. It shows them what the world outside of School or College actually looks like, so they can start visualising their future careers.”

“We make sure students on work placements get an understanding of what Airbus does and an understanding of how industry works. If you look at the South West, it’s the largest aerospace cluster in Europe, so trying to attract people to Bristol is not just within our grasp but we’re doing it now, demonstrating our global capabilities.”

City of Bristol College’s new Curriculum Strategy acknowledges that employers need a skilled and motivated workforce at all levels of the organisation. It understands that they require new and existing staff to be equipped with current, specialist technical skills and knowledge, alongside transferable and flexible employability skills and behaviours.

To find out more about engineering courses and career paths leading to engineering, visit to browse courses or come along to our next Open Event. For more information, call 0117 312 5000.

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